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26 ADDRESSING LOW DIETARY INTAKE OF IRON OF PREGNANT WOMEN IN THE NAMAKKAL DISTRICT, INDIA.
  1. P. I. Lee
  1. University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Abstract

Purpose of Intervention Pregnant women in the Namakkal District are undernourished, particularly in their consumption of iron. Thus, a community intervention project was designed to promote the consumption of iron-rich foods in their daily diets.

Community Assessment With the help of the hospital nutritionist, focus groups with pregnant women, who are currently receiving care at Paramathi Velur Government Hospital, were organized. Also, counselors, doctors, and nutritionists were interviewed to assess the depth of counseling on nutrition for pregnant women in hospitals. A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE and local textbooks on dietetics were used as references to create an educational program on the importance of iron intake for pregnant women.

Project Discussion A lack of public awareness and an under-resourced counseling program were identified as contributing to a low intake of dietary iron. Thus, a pictorial educational poster was constructed to promote local iron-rich foods. With the help of a translator, a group-counseling session was conducted to promote nutrition. The protocol for this session will be used as a model for the hospital staff to educate pregnant women on the importance of iron consumption.

Conclusion Focus groups revealed the educational needs of a particular community: education regarding iron-rich foods. Public education was developed, including posters and literature for health care providers, and the effectiveness of these interventions should be evaluated.

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