Over 50% of Pregnant Women Are Anaemic, Reveals GSS Survey; Urgent Calls for Health Measures and Government Action

A recent survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has brought to light a concerning revelation: over 50% of pregnant women in the country are anaemic, as opposed to 40% of non-pregnant women. The findings, presented in the “2022 Demographic and Health Survey,” underscore the critical need for immediate attention to address the health implications associated with anaemia.

The survey, which included testing children aged 6–59 months for anaemia, highlighted that the Northern Region faces the highest prevalence at 69%, with Ahafo following closely at 35%. Notably, anaemia prevalence among children has witnessed a decline from 78% in 2008.

Anaemia in adults, known for its negative health consequences such as fatigue and lethargy, has become a focal point for health professionals. The report delves into various aspects, including the prevalence of caesarean operations.

It indicates that deliveries are more common in urban areas, accounting for 27%, compared to 15% in rural areas. Approximately 21% of live births in the two years preceding the survey were delivered through a caesarean operation.

On the subject of HIV knowledge, the report reveals that 2% of women aged 15–49 engaged in sexual activities with more than one partner in the 12 months before the survey. Among them, 12% reported using a condom during their last sexual encounter.

For men aged 15–49, 15% reported having sex with more than one partner, with 18% using a condom during their last sexual intercourse. Deputy Director in Charge of Reproductive and Child Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr. Chris Opoku Fofie, emphasized the importance of the survey’s findings.

He stated that the data would provide timely information to authorities and aid in developing comprehensive policies to address any anomalies identified. Director-General of the Ghana Aids Commission, Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, urged the government to establish an enabling legal policy to address the HIV/AIDS menace.

The survey, the 7th of its kind conducted in the country since 1988, serves as a vital tool for monitoring the population and health situation in Ghana. Funded by various organizations, including USAID, UNICEF, and the World Bank, the survey gathered information from a nationally representative sample of 15,014 women aged 15–49 and 7,044 men aged 15–49.

With response rates of 98% for women and 97% for men, the survey’s comprehensive data offers valuable insights into the health landscape, calling for concerted efforts from both health authorities and the government to address the identified challenges.