Non-compliance: a Major Problem in Anaemia Control. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 010 (1990)
(1990; 2 pages)


A Technical Officer of WHO’s Safe Motherhood Programme, Carla Abou-Zahr contributed an article to the tenth Monitor on non-compliance of pregnant women with nutritional anaemia. Factors including socioeconomic barriers to access, undesirable side-effects and traditional beliefs all pose obstacles to persuading women to adhere to treatment plans. Furthermore, women in different countries have varying opinions on when certain types of medicines are appropriate. For example, women in India rarely take pills but will accept injections, and in certain regions they believe pills to occupy the same space in the body as the fetus. As a result, women abstain from taking iron pills. Studies have shown improvements in compliance resulted from improved marketing strategies and the presence of traditional birth attendants or other close community members. Therefore, cultural relevance is a huge factor in increasing compliance to anaemia treatment regimens. The article includes evidence of this relationship from programmes run in Thailand and India. The author concludes by highlighting the need for cross-cultural studies on women’s attitudes and operational research on marketing in order to successfully implement more pre-natal treatment regimens.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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