The dilemma of private practitioners is whether to prescribe or not to prescribe iron supplements on suspicion of anaemia. This cross sectional study was done in an urban squatter settlement with a primary health care centre to assess the significance of symptoms and a history of associated diseases in the diagnosis of anaemia. A total of 321 children were sampled from 1800 children < 5 years of age in a population of 11,000, by systematic random sampling. Mothers were asked about the presence of assumed associated symptoms and diseases which were listlessness, irritability, anaemia, pica, poor weight gain, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infection and malaria in last 3 months. There was significant association between anaemia (Hb < 11 gms%) and irriability (P < .02), anorexia for solid foods (P < .04), pica (P < .001), episode of diarrhoea (P < .001) and poor weight gain (P < .006). There was no significant association between malaria, cold, cough and anaemia. Children with these symptoms complex should receive iron supplements.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1994|