Study of Awareness and Practice of Folic Acid Intake among Iraqi Women


Background: Folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy reduces the risks of neuraltube defects. WHO recommended that folic acid supplement of 400 µg should be taken daily by allwomen, from the moment they begin trying to conceive until 12 weeks of gestation.Objectives: To study the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of women at childbearing ageregarding folic acid intake.Materials and methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted at the secondAl-Adhamyia primary heath care center/ Baghdad from the 1st of January to end of February2017. One hundred seventy married women at age 15−49 years were enrolled in the study. Theywere selected by non-probability convenient sampling technique. Data was analyzed using SPSSversion 22.Results: Mean age of the study sample was 30.3 ± 8 years. The illiterate and the highly educatedwere 7 (4.1%) and 70 (41.1%) respectively. Their awareness regarding the folic acid need was79%. About 61.2% knew its importance in pregnancy, while only 47.1% knew its benefit in prepregnancy. The practice of folic acid in previous pregnancy was 76.5%, mainly started during thefirst month. More than half (57.7%) used it daily. Results also show that there is a significantassociation between knowledge (heard of folic acid and awareness of its importance) of women andage, education and parity.Conclusion: Knowledge regarding folic acid and its importance among women was fairly good.The practice was also satisfactory. However, more strategies are needed to increase the awarenessabout the preconception use of folic acid in our community.