1 School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa.
2 School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Durban 4000, South Africa
3 College of Education, University of Rwanda, PO BOX 5039 Kigali, Rwanda.
Anemia is an important public health problem affecting all age groups of the population. The objective of this study was to identify the risk factors associated with anemia among women of childbearing age in Rwanda and map their spatial variation.
The 2014/15 Rwanda Demographic and Health survey data was used and the structured logistic regression model was fitted to the data, where fixed effects were modeled parametrically, non-linear effects were modeled non-parametrically using second order random walk priors and spatial effects were modeled using Markov Random field priors.
The prevalence of anemia among non-pregnant women of reproductive age was 18.9%. Women from the households which use water from the unprotected well had a higher risk of having anemia than a woman from the household where they use water piped into dwelling or yard. The risk of anemia was higher among underweight women and women living in households without toilet facilities. The anemia was less pronounced among the women using contraception, literate women, women from the households which use a bed net and living in rich households.
The findings from this study highlighted the districts with the highest number of anemic women and this can help the policymakers and other public health institutions to design a specific programme targeting these districts in order to improve the health status and living conditions of these women. The findings also suggest an improvement of toilet facilities, bed net use and source of drinking water in affected households.
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