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January 2022

Trop Doct. 1984 Oct; 14(4): 175-7.

Traditional treatment of pregnancy anaemia in Nigeria. An indication for modern therapeutics.

Elegbe I, Ojofeitimi EO, Olegbe IA.

Investigation of 122 women early in the second trimester of pregnancy who complained of constant dizziness during pregnancy, and used traditional "black rings on their middle fingers" as a prophylactic measure, revealed that 59% were anaemic (haemoglobin less than 10 g/100 ml). None of them had blood pressure above 120/70 mmHg. After two months of treatment with ferrous gluconate 300 mg three times daily, folic acid, weekly antimalarial drug, and individual regular nutrition counselling, the incidence of anaemia was reduced to 22.7%. The mean haemoglobin levels before and after initiation of drug therapy were 8.5 and 10.8 g/100 ml respectively. There was a significant difference between the two means (P less than 0.05). There was also a marked difference between the mean haemoglobin levels of ring-wearers and non-ring-wearers in the less educated members of the two groups (P less than 0.001). It can be inferred from this study that the wearing of black rings indicates that the patients are likely to be anaemic, and that educated women seem less likely to rely on this type of traditional treatment of pregnancy anaemia.

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