The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5188.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 3:00 PM

Abstract #62275

Portable hemoglobin screening device and health status of a "hard to reach" population: The case of the Qashqa'i of Iran

Mohammad Shahbazi, PhD, MPH, CHES, Public Health, Jackson State University, 144 Apple Blossom Dr., Brandon, MS 39047, 601/368-2043,, Dena Goldberg, PhD, RD, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming, PO Box 3354, Laramie, WY, WY 82070, and Zahra Sarraf, MD, Department of Obstetric Gynecology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Zand Street, Shiraz, Iran.

Purpose: The Qashqa'i tribespeople, a predominantly nomadic pastoralist Turkish speaking population, have lived in Southern Iran for centuries. State policies are encouraging gradual settlement of this ethnic group. Little is known about the health status of this population. Of particular concern is the health status of this group’s schoolchildren. Fieldwork completed two years ago found a high prevalence of stunting (61%), wasting (22%) and low hemoglobin (23%) among 137 schoolchildren in one subtribe. This abstract is a report of a follow-up study of these schoolchildren. Method: Presence of free-of-charge health services was announced 48 hours prior to the team’s arrival. A physician, nurse and aides provided the health services the residents sought at the health house. The principle investigator and his team were stationed at the village's only elementary school. The principal investigator drew blood samples for hemoglobin determination using the HemaCue portable blood analyzer following the manufacturer’s suggested procedures. Only the schoolchildren reported anemic during the previous fieldwork and who had taken iron supplements for 3 months were reexamined. Result/recommendation: The response of the children to iron supplementation will be presented. The HemaCue reduces time spent in the field significantly, minimizes errors/contamination, is less invasive than venipuncture, does not require a licensed nurse, and reduces cost involved in health screening. Availability and accessibility of this kind of technology can help in addressing health disparities globally.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Various School Health Topics

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA