Anemia is highly prevalent and persistent in Ghana where 66% of children 6-59 months are anemic. The Nutrition Links Project is implementing an integrated, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, health, and institutional capacity strengthening research, in Upper Manya Krobo, an under-served rural district in Eastern region, Ghana.To improve evidence-based decision making, this analysis explores predictors of anemia among infants, at baseline.
Data on 1,037 women, with their 1,013 infants <12 months old were analyzed. Initial bivariate followed by multi-variable logistic regression models were used to identify predictors of anemia, including household demographics, socio-economic status, agricultural practices, water and sanitation facilities, maternal anemia and infant diet and health.
More than half (56%) of the infants were anemic, with 25% having moderate anemia. Two out of every five women (39%) were anemic with 5.5% moderately anemic. Mean haemoglobin was 10.9 ± 1.7 g/dl and 12.3 + 1.5 g/dl for infants and women, respectively. Female infants were 41% less likely to be anemic. Improved household water was associated with a 62% lower risk of being anemic, while fever almost doubled the risk of anemia (OR = 1.91; 95% CI: 1.3, 2.8). A 1 g/dl increase in maternal haemoglobin was associated with an 11% lower likelihood of anemia in the infant.
The findings highlight the importance of using an integrated approach that targets both infants and mothers for addressing anemia among infants in underserved rural communities; a model for sub-Saharan Africa. Future analysis will examine the impact of interventions on maternal and child anemia.