Parents’ Knowledge and Practice of Iron Therapy for Anemic Infants in Primary Health Care in Bahrain

  •  Ahmed Al-Jamri    
  •  Fatema Al-Awainati    
  •  Marwa Ali    
  •  Masooma Jaafar    
  •  Mustafa Hussain    
  •  Ghufran Jassim    


BACKGROUND: Anemia in children aged less than five years is a common medical problem worldwide. Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent anemia in infants and has been shown to be a public health problem. Many studies have been conducted on anemia among infants but the scope of the conducted studies was focused on the prevalence of anemia with less emphasis on the knowledge and parental practice of anemia and its treatment. Providing infants with iron supplements and simultaneously ensuring their compliance has shown an improvement in hemoglobin levels, along with a significant reduction in the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia (IDA).

OBJECTIVE: To explore the level of parental knowledge and practice towards iron syrup.

METHODS: A Cross- sectional study was carried out from 21st June to 2nd July, 2015 in ten Primary Health Care centers in Bahrain. During the study period, a phone survey was conducted using a self-constructed questionnaire. The response rate was 98%.

RESULTS: In this study, the prevalence of anemia in infants is 45%. 58.4% of parents did not give the offered iron for their infants or stopped it within the first week of use. Overall, around 70% of parents correctly answered half or more of the knowledge questions regarding iron syrup side effects but only 32.5% of parents correctly answered half or more of the questions regarding IDA complications.

CONCLUSION: Anemia is prevalent among 9 months old infants with considerable gaps in knowledge and practices of parents.

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