Anaemia Types and Severity in Patients Aged 1 to 14 Years at the Children’s Hospital of the University Teaching Hospitals in Zambia

Keywords: Anaemia;, iron deficiency;, hypochromic;, microcytic;


Anaemia is a condition in which either the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiologic needs, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking and pregnancy status. The global estimate of childhood anaemia indicates that 293.1 million children are anaemic, and 28.5% of these children reside in sub-Sahara Africa anaemia is a significant public health problem with a high age-standardised death rate of 11.18 per 100,000 in Zambia. We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 392 anaemic children aged one year to 14 years. The study was conducted at the Children Hospital, University Teaching Hospitals, which is a third-level referral Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. The aim was to determine the most common type of anaemia, it’s severity, and the most affected age groups among children aged 1–14 years. Out of 392 participants, 219 (56%) were female. Maximum haemoglobin recorded was 10.9g/dl, a minimum of 2.0 g/dl, a mean of 7.8g/dl and a standard deviation of 1.86g/dl. 200 (51%) participants had severe anaemia, and 192 (49%) had moderate anaemia with none having mild anaemia. Microcytic hypochromic anaemia was the commonest (60%), followed by normochromic normocytic anaemia (26%) and the least was macrocytic anaemia in 14% of the participants. An analysis of variance showed that the difference in mean haemoglobin concentration between age groups was not significant, F (7.94) = 0.83, p > 0.57. A Chi-squared test was used to determine the relationship between anaemia types (microcytic, hypochromic) and age groups. The interaction was not significant (Chi-Square (1) = 1.28, p-value = 0.73. Microcytic hypochromic anaemia was the most prevalent and all age groups were equally affected. We recommend the country’s National Food and Nutrition Commission to revisit the Zambian National Strategy and Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Vitamin A Deficiency and Anaemia of 1999 to 2004 and implement the measures stated in the strategic plan.