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Epidemiology of external birth defects in neonates in Southwestern Nigeria

TIB Bakare
OA Sowande
OO Adejuyigbe
Y Chinda
UE Usang


Background: There is paucity of information on the prevalence of birth defects in Nigeria, particularly in our setting. This study determined the epidemiology of external congenital anomalies in Southwest Nigerian children. Patients and Methods: This was a stratifi ed, randomized study of neonates presenting with external birth defects in Ife-Ijesha in Southwestern Nigeria, from August 2003 to July 2004. The neonates were screened for obvious congenital malformations by thorough physical examination. Results: A total of 624 neonates were screened, 43 (6.9%) of whom had external birth defects
(prevalence: 3.7 ± 0.8% SD). There was a slight male preponderance (M: F= 1.4: 0.9). The overall prevalence rates of external congenital and major anomalies in Ife- Ijesa are 6.9 and 3.7% respectively. A higher prevalence for major malformations, 6.3%, was also found within the minority ethnic groups in these communities compared to the native majority. Musculoskeletal abnormalities are the most common anomaly, followed by those of abnormal
external genitalia and head defects. Conclusion: Major malformations are more common amongst the minority settlers in this study, and musculoskeletal abnormalities
were the most prevalent

Keywords: Birth defects, epidemiology, neonates, Nigeria

African Journal of Paediatric Surgery Vol. 6 (1) 2009: pp. 28-30