Uncategorized Women's Health: Why do most pregnant women in Pakistan...

Women’s Health: Why do most pregnant women in Pakistan suffer from iron deficiency or anemia?


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Today is a busy day as usual for Dr. Saima Tabassum. Women wait their turn to be examined at their maternal and child clinic in a suburb of Sanghar District, Sindh Province, Pakistan.
In the meantime, as promised, they can take some time to talk on the phone. Talking on the phone, she said that 50 to 60 women come to her every day for advice and check-ups at different stages of pregnancy.
Without delay I asked her the same question which was going to be the subject of my research. What is the biggest problem of women in Pakistan regarding pregnancy?
“Iron deficiency, anemia,” Dr. Saima said without pausing.
I examine fifty, sixty women a day and believe me more than forty of them come with iron deficiency.
Leaving Sanghar, in the office of Dr. Arif Tajmal, the principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore and a well-known gynecologist, when I asked him the same question, his answer was the same.
Seventy percent of women in Pakistan suffer from anemia, including women from well-educated families.
So the question here is why anemia is the most common problem of women from the backward town of Sanghar to Lahore, the main city of Punjab?
Dr. Arif says that on the one hand, anemia is still common in Pakistan, and on the other hand, it is the common diet of the region, which, unlike Western society, uses less protein than iron-rich food.
However, there is an additional difficulty for Dr. Saima in Sanghar.
That is, it is difficult for women here to understand how complicated this deficiency can be and if the pills are not enough, they will have to take iron injections.
“Women are scared of injections and their men think I have prescribed expensive treatment.”
What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?
According to the NHS Foundation Trust of the United Kingdom, iron deficiency anemia is a decrease in the amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that absorbs oxygen from the lungs and carries it to all parts of the body.
Iron is one of the essential ingredients for making hemoglobin. There was a lack of iron in the body, while the amount of hemoglobin decreased.
How is anemia diagnosed?
A blood test can detect anemia.
Because it is so common, anemia is tested in the early stages of pregnancy and then repeated in the 28th week near birth, as hemoglobin levels are likely to drop further in the third trimester of pregnancy. Grows.
Why is anemia dangerous in pregnancy?
Iron deficiency in pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby before the pregnancy is over.
Preterm birth is one of the leading causes of infant mortality in regions like Pakistan.
Iron deficiency in pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby before the pregnancy is over.
It is also possible for the baby to be born with an iron deficiency or unhealthy weight, to have less breast milk after birth, or to have postpartum depression after the birth process.
Above all, if the mother’s hemoglobin is low, even a small amount of blood loss during childbirth can be life threatening.
Statistics on anemia in the region
According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency anemia is the most common in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Half of all women with anemia are from the subcontinent. However, 88% of these women suffer from this deficiency during pregnancy. About 45% of women with anemia are said to be from Pakistan.
A study by Pakistan’s Aga Khan University cited a survey in Hyderabad a few years ago that found that more than 90 percent of pregnant women were iron deficient.
Of these, mild anemia was found in 75%, mild in more than 14% and severe anemia in 0.7%.
How to avoid anemia in pregnancy?
Explaining the solution, Dr. Arif Tajmal said that after the 16th week of pregnancy, the medicine or tonic should be prescribed by a qualified doctor and it is better not to use iron with calcium.
According to Dr. Saima Tabassum, in addition to food medications, a course of injections can add extra iron to the blood. Both experts stress that women should make better diets a part of their routine.
Eggs, meat, dried fruits, pulses should be included in the diet, while foods rich in vitamin C will improve the absorption of iron in the blood.


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