Pregnant women and their knowledge on IFAS supplementation
Pregnancy is a really crucial time for a woman because she not only has to maintain proper health for herself but also for the baby she is carrying.
Due to the increased macro and micronutrient needs during pregnancy, many pregnant
women are at a higher risk of iron and folic acid deficiency. This is as a result of inadequate iron and folic acid in the body or due to poor adherence.
In developing countries, there is an increased risk of iron and folic acid deficiency
leading to increased mortality and morbidity rates in children before they get to
the age of 5.
Mostly affected groups include pregnant women, postpartum
women, and children aged 6-24 months.
Iron and folic acid supplements are important to balance the increased
physiological demand during puberty, pregnancy, and lactation.
The use of iron and folic acid supplements during pregnancy is important to reduce the risk of anemia due to (low hemoglobin) count and preventing birth defects to the baby’s
brain and spinal cord.
However, in developing countries, Kenya included many women who do not
understand the importance of the supplements given to them. This is as a result
of inadequate information about the IFAS supplements.
It’s important for the health workers to explain better about the importance of supplements to women
mostly those that have multiple births and don’t see the importance of the
In addition, women who come late for antenatal clinics tend to miss out
on opportunities to start early supplementation during pregnancy.
This issue should be properly addressed by dealing with the supply chain management problem in various health centers.
Also, midwives should be involved in mobilizing the importance of IFAS
supplements during pregnancy to women who are more comfortable with giving
birth at home.
Proper supplementation of iron and folic acid to pregnant women and adequate
knowledge of their importance will help reduce the mortality rate in children and
sudden infant deaths before 6 months.