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Covariates of Pica among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Care at Kawempe Hospital, Kampala, Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Study

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  • 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda;
  • | 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda;
  • | 3 Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Busitema University, Mbale, Uganda

ABSTRACT.

Pica is the craving and purposive eating of nonfood items. It is common worldwide and presents among vulnerable populations like children and pregnant women. Its etiology and health consequences are not well understood. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and covariates of pica among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at Kawempe hospital in Uganda. We conducted a cross-sectional study from July 2019 to December 2019. Participants in this study were 307 pregnant women who had come to attend antenatal clinic at the hospital. The prevalence of pica was computed. Bivariate and multivariable analysis was done to establish the factors that were independently associated with pica. The prevalence of pica was 57%. The most common type of pica was geophagia (eating clay and sand) followed by pagophagia (eating ice). Of the women who practiced pica, half consumed the nonfood items daily. Factors independently associated with pica were being in the third trimester (adjusted OR [aOR]: 3.60; 95% CI: 1.36–9.48] and having nausea in pregnancy (aOR: 2.11; 95% CI: 1.20–3.70). At Kawempe hospital, pica is common among women who attend the antenatal clinic and is associated with having nausea in pregnancy and being in the third trimester. Health workers need to counsel pregnant women about the dangers of pica so as to reduce helminth infections and micronutrient deficiency associated with it.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Paul Kiondo, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda E-mail: kiondop@yahoo.com

Authors’ addresses: Olivia Nakiyemba and Paul Kiondo, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda, E-mails: olivianakiyemba@gmail.com and kiondop@yahoo.com. Susan Obore, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: arsuob@yahoo.co.uk. Milton Musaba and Julius Wandabwa, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Busitema University, Mbale, Uganda, E-mails: miltonmusaba@gmail.com and gjwandabwa@yahoo.com.

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