Analysis of the Drivers of Change in Women’s Anemia in Tanzania 2005–2015

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1875

46 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2019

See all articles by Jessica Heckert

Jessica Heckert

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Derek Headey

CGIAR - Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division

Biram Ndiaye

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mauro Brero

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Vincent Assey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 16, 2019

Abstract

Although the prevalence of anemia among women of reproductive age in Tanzania remains high, there have been documented improvements. It declined from 47.2% in 2004-05 to 40.1% 2010, but by 2016 it has risen again to 44.8%, according to the nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys from those years. Women’s anemia can lead to many detrimental consequences, including decreased work productivity, mortality, postpartum hemorrhage, and adverse birth outcomes. Thus, it is important to document the factors that may have contributed to improvements in anemia status. Using a regression decomposition approach, which previously has been applied to identifying potential drivers of changes in stunting, we examine which improvements in the underlying determinants of anemia contributed to improvements in the overall prevalence of anemia among women of reproductive age in Tanzania. This study is the first known application of this methodology to understanding changes in the prevelance of anemia. Among all adult women, the largest contributers of change from factors we could include in our models were increases in wealth and education, use of hormonal contraceptives, and the decrease in the proportion of women who are currently pregnant or postpartum (i.e., from the decrease in fertility rates). Notably, use of hormonal contraceptives was least common among the poorest quintile. Additionally, change was attributable to reductions in infection, specifically fever and improvements in open defecation. Among older adolescent girls (15-19 years), the largest share in the improvements in anemia were attributable to education and wealth increases. Among postpartum women, we were limited by the sample size, but found that attending all four antenatal care visits and being administered medications to prevent malaria during pregnancy were important determinants of improved hemoglobin levels.

Keywords: nutrition, anaemia, women, regression analysis, nutrition policy

Suggested Citation

Heckert, Jessica and Headey, Derek and Ndiaye, Biram and Brero, Mauro and Assey, Vincent, Analysis of the Drivers of Change in Women’s Anemia in Tanzania 2005–2015 (October 16, 2019). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1875, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3471279

Jessica Heckert (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Derek Headey

CGIAR - Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division ( email )

Washington, DC 20005
United States

Biram Ndiaye

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mauro Brero

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Vincent Assey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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