The prevalence of Rhesus negativity among pregnant women in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria

  • TC Okeke
  • S Ocheni
  • UI Nwagha
  • OG Ibegbulam
Keywords: Enugu, Southeast Nigeria, pregnancy, rhesus D iso-immunization


Background: Hemolytic disease of the newborn, secondary to rhesus D (Rh D) iso-immunization, contributes significantly to perinatal morbidity and mortality. Prevalence data in Nigeria, and Southeast Nigeria in particular, is very scanty. This study was carried out to provide our experience in this preventable clinical condition in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria.
Objective: To determine the prevalence and trends of Rh D negativity among pregnant women in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A 5-year retrospective study of rhesus negative women was carried out at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria, between 1st January 2000 and 31st December 2004.
Result: The prevalence rate of Rh D negative women in Enugu, Nigeria, is 4.5%. Out of 6306 women who booked for antenatal care, 282 (4.5%) were Rh D negative women. One hundred and eighty-two (182) (64.5%) of the Rh D negative women were of blood group O followed by blood group A 20%, blood group B 12.1%, and blood group AB 3.2%, respectively.
Conclusion: There is a need for adequate counseling of pregnant women on the importance of Rh D negative factor during the antenatal period in order to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn.

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eISSN: 1119-3077