Factors associated with compliance to iron uptake among pregnant women in Uganda
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The Compliance level to taking iron supplements among pregnant women in Uganda is still low and this may be a potential driver to the persistent high prevalence of anaemia in this population. Compliance level is when pregnant women ingest Iron tablets/Syrup for at least four times a week or daily for 3 months (Ministry of health, 2015). The study examined the determinants of compliance to taking Iron supplements among pregnant women in Uganda. Data for the study was sourced from the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Household Survey. The study population comprised 8,665 women who were pregnant in the last five years. At the univariate level of analysis, frequencies describing the characteristics of respondents were generated. This was followed by bivariate level analysis using the Pearson Chi-squared tests to show factors associated with compliance to Iron supplements among pregnant mothers in Uganda while at the multivariate level, a binary logistic regression model was applied to determine the factors associated with compliance to taking Iron supplements. The findings revealed that only 26% of the women age15-49 years were complying with the taking of Iron during pregnancy. Furthermore, it was found that the demographic and socio-economic characteristics that were significantly associated with complying with taking Iron tablets during pregnancy were age (p=0.000), Birth Order (p=0.000), education level (p=0.000), region (p=0.001), Timing of the first ANC Visit (p=0.000) and Distance to the Health Facility (p=0.000). At the multivariate analysis level, women who had their second Birth Order (OR 0.874, CI: 0.706-1.082), Secondary and higher education (OR 0.932, CI: 0.753-1.154), Clerical partners (OR 2.818, CI:-0.869-9.135), Professional women (OR 1.484, CI: 1.132-1.947), had higher odds of complying with taking Iron tablets during pregnancy. This study, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Health and other stake holders should improve on the awareness campaigns on the relevance of taking the iron tablets during pregnancy. In addition, Health professionals should provide health information for all ANC service users on a regular basis during counseling session of ANC visit about the benefit of Iron Supplements to prevent maternal anemia and its consequence by enhancing compliance levels to taking Iron tablets Supplements during Pregnancy.