Abstract: Anaemia in women seeking sterilization in Mursan, India. Ragnhild F. Skagseth and May-Liss Hatleskog.Faculty of medicine, University of Oslo, autumn 2008.
Background: Anaemia is a huge medical problem in the developing world. Getting pregnant at a young age combined with high parity, bad sanitary conditions and a bad diet, contributes to give women bad health. This thesis was undertaken to study the haemoglobin (Hb) level in women who were seeking surgical sterilization at the Methodist Public Health Centre (MPHC), Mursan, India. The aim of this investigation was to seek possible explanations why many fertile females end up anaemic and to examine what could be done to improve their condition.Material and methods: Data were collected from all the women who were seeking surgical sterilization at the MPHC, December 2007. All lab results on Hb level, pregnancy tests and infection parameters were gathered. The authors observed all the tests and contributed in some of the preoperative tests, such as measuring pulse and blood pressure, performing the auscultation of the heart, and bimanual gynaecological examination. The findings where compared to the existing literature obtained trough search in PubMed, WHO databases, textbooks and Google. Results: Of 160 women who were seeking surgical sterilization, only 107 (66.9 %) underwent the operation; 25 % of the women excluded had an Hb level measuring 8 g/dl or lower, which is classified as severe anaemia; 4.4 % would not give their consents for sterilization or just left the clinic. 1.8 % tested positive for human chorionoic gonadotropin (hCG) and 1.9 % did not undergo the sterilization of unknown reasons.Conclusion: Anaemia is without doubt a big problem among women seeking surgical sterilization. There are many reasons contributing to anaemia, such as chronic infections, bad nutrition, and underweight. Possible ways to improve this condition would be family planning, better sanitary conditions, diet and antenatal care. MPHC should focus on working harder on treating infection and especially gastrointestinal infections. The hospital should continue their good work on antenatal care and aim to reach out to even more people in the area. This may increase the frequency of seeking medical help when people feel ill, get pregnant, or are about to go into labour. Iron folic acid (IFA) covering and health education are both successful programs that are recommended to continue.