Point-of-care testing facilitates screening of and treatment for iron deficiency anaemia in women and children in rural Pakistan

Tessa Frances McCormack, Rukhsana Ayub, F Aziz, Lara Alexandra Motta, Brooke Ann Spaeth, Mark Douglas Shephard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Objective: To use point-of-care testing to screen and facilitate treatment for anaemia and to establish an estimate of the prevalence of anaemia in the local population. Design: An uncontrolled before and after study design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on the anaemia status of participants. Setting: This study took place in a rural mountain community (population approximately 1000) in the Haripur district in northern Pakistan. Participants: Women of child-bearing age (15–49 years) and children (12–14 years) were included in this study. Interventions: The intervention included point-of-care testing for haemoglobin, treatment with mebendazole and oral iron supplementation, and an education campaign about anaemia delivered by community health workers and medical students. Main outcome measures: The main outcome measure was an increase in blood haemoglobin over the study period. A secondary outcome measure was a positive change in anaemia status or classification post-intervention. Results: Anaemia was initially detected in 64 (53%) women and 15 (47%) children. The mean haemoglobin concentration increased significantly (P < 0.001) from 118 to 130 g L−1 (women) and 120 to 130 g L−1 (children) post-intervention. Overall prevalence of anaemia in women (P < 0.001) and children (P < 0.001) decreased significantly (by 30% and 34%, respectively) post-intervention. Conclusions: Point-of-care testing used for the detection of anaemia in this rural community helped to identify the burden of disease and to reduce this significantly by way of rapid diagnosis, education and immediate medical intervention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)194-198
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
    Volume26
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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