|Haemoglobin Colour Scale ... A Practical Answer to a Vital Need (WHO - OMS, 6 p.)|
The measurement of haemoglobin has long been recognized as fundamental in routine health checks, for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and, given the global incidence of anaemia, in public health care.
The measurement of haemoglobin in blood as an indicator of anaemia has traditionally relied on the services of a well-equipped clinical laboratory. Simple techniques do of course exist, but even these are relatively expensive and require commercial reagents, a good degree of technical skill and are not readily available in peripheral health clinics or at point of care for clinicians and mid-wives.
In primary health care centres, when laboratory facilities are not available, anaemia is usually diagnosed from clinical signs (pallor of the conjunctiva, tongue, palms and nail beds, using anaemia recognition cards if available), although accurate interpretation of these signs depends a great deal on effective training. However, in rural areas where anaemia is common and where appropriate prevention and treatment strategies may be most beneficial, an alternative method is needed to screen for anaemia easily and economically. The less sophisticated the device, the more easily we can respond - in a sustained way - to the needs of primary health, care centres in developing countries.