Contributing Factors to The Awareness of Health Risks of Geophagy Among Pregnant Women in Lubumbashi

Author(s): Cham LC, Kayeme Z, Bokanya I, Tambwe MA, Bito V, Kakoma SZ

Geophagy is widely practiced during pregnancy especially in Africa. In Lubumbashi geophagic material contains high levels of toxic metallic elements next to the eggs, larvae, or adult species of the geohelminths and micro toxins. Despite the health risks uncounted, pregnant women still consume clay. Whether pregnant geophagists are aware of the risks-related to geophagia is unknown. A case- control study of 104 geophagists and 107 no geophagists pregnant women was conducted from September 1st, 2022, to February 28th, 2023The pregnant women consecutively enlisted were attending the prenatal care in four medical institutions in Lubumbashi and completed an interview-based questionnaire. 51.7% of the study population were not aware of the health risks of geophagia and consumed large amounts of clay during the early stages of the pregnancy. Identified health risks related to geophagy were mainly helminthic infestation and anemia. The degree of awareness is related to the level of women education and societal/marital status. Our results demonstrate that despite the identified related health risks and the awareness of them, geophagia remains common practice during pregnancy in Lubumbashi. A holistic prevention approach should be implemented to reduce the consequences of geophagy among pregnant women.

© 2016-2024, Copyrights Fortune Journals. All Rights Reserved