Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Knowing without Doing : A Study on Iron Anemia in Female Students of State Senior High School 6, Limo, Depok, West Java, Indonesia
Agustina SAIFUDDIN, Putri Permatasari

Last modified: 2018-08-14


Most  health scientists agree that iron deficiency anemia frequency is inversely proportional to social-economic-educational condition of a society so that the frequency is high in the low of  social-economic-educational condition of the society. Based on the conventional agreement quite many efforts have been launched by national health ministry through its health promotion campaigns and programs  to decrease the prevalence such as giving iron supplements to foods and iron tablets. But, ironically, the prevalence has still been high. This research finds out a paradox phenomenon, that is identifying high frequency of iron deficiency anemia (46.4%) in female student respondents from relatively sufficient high social-economic-educational background families (60.4%). In statistic, normally the frequency should be much less than that percentage.  This research involves 394 female students as our respondents, applying a cross-sectional design approach.  The students  were requested to fill questioners, they have had their Hb checked utilizing Quick-Check Hb.  Some observation techniques were applied to support and validate quantitative data. Some findings were derived from the research processes : The relative high frequency of iron anemia (46.4%) in the respondents with their parents’ relative high education background (85.5% for fathers and 79.4% for mothers).  The social-economic level of the respondents family is also sufficient high (60.4%). Monthly average income of respondents families is about IDR 5.000.000,-, well above monthly minimum average family income of Depok region and its surrounding (about IDR 3.584.700,29). In cognitive context, the respondents knowledge of iron deficiency anemia is sufficient good (67.3%) and their knowledge of balanced nutrition is quite sufficient (51.3%). It means that they know well about the anemia matters.  To overcome the paradox, we have applied some qualitative observation to the physical setting of school canteen  and students behavior. We found out that (a) the canteen was not designed on sufficient nutritional need bases as it should be; (b) the menus  provided are monotonous and without variation, and they do not contain sufficient iron nutrition as it should; (c) school rules are too tight to prohibit students go out from their school yards, as some good nutritional foods are just available outside the school walls; and (d) school canteen goes on as it is without any control—especially nutritional control—by school authority.  The authors argue that good nutritional knowledge (to know) is not enough without intervening infrastructure, menus, school regulations, and nutritional control by the school authority. To solve iron deficiency anemia in adolescents has to be holistic in its approach—one which involves knowledge, structural, and cultural aspects in to one unity.