Kaeli Thomas and Karen de la Cruz, Brigham Young University
- Administration of intermittent low-dose iron will increase hemoglobin levels in the subject population.
- Administration of an anti-‐parasitical agent will increase hemoglobin levels in the subject population.
- There will be no statistical difference in the hemoglobin levels of the two groups.
- Setting and sample: Kindergarten students in primary schools of Eastern Region of Ghana.
- Design: Quasi-‐experimental quantitative design. It was culturally unacceptable to have a control group in this study.
- Instruments: Taylor medical grade electronic scale, stadiometer, Stanbio STATSite MHgb monitor.
All children enrolled in the study were assigned to one of two intervention groups: Fe supplementation only or anti-parasitic medication only.
Group 1: Each child was given a single dose of an anti-parisitic medication, Benznidazole, at the beginning of the intervention and at 3 month intervals for the duration of the study.
Group 2: Each child received 5 mg liquid iron supplement on each Monday, Wednesday and Friday that they attend school for the period of 6 months.
Ghana utilizes a year round school model. Missed doses were not made up. The village Headman and community health clinic medical provider supervised the administration of Fe supplement and anti-parasitic to the children using the schedule provided by Primary investigator.
A paper data collection instrument was created for this study. Each subject was assigned a unique and arbitrary ID to ensure accuracy for repeated testing. Data was entered from the paper data collection tool into an excel spreadsheet. Data entry was independently verified. Data were imported into SPSS version 21 for statistical analysis. Data were reviewed for missing values and outliers using descriptive statistics and appropriate figures. Variable change scores were examined for anomalous values and outliers before analysis. Relationships between predictors were examined using logistic regression.
Pretest comparisons for height, weight and hemoglobin levels indicated no significant differences between intervention groups. Significant proportions of the study participants in both groups were anemic (hemoglobin levels < 11 g/dl) at pretest, 40.4% in the Fe supplement group and 30.1% in the anti-parasitic group.
Both intervention groups showed similar hemoglobin levels at pretest and posttest. Neither intervention improved anemia status. We suspect these findings result from differences in diet due to seasonal changes. During the dry season, the food selection is different from the rainy season. We plan to continue the study to test this hypothesis.