Pan African Medical Journal

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Retinopathy of prematurity in Kenya: prevalence and risk factors in a hospital with advanced neonatal care

Oscar Onyango, Sarah Sitati, Lucia Amolo, Florence Murila, Susan Wariua, Gacheri Nyamu, Moses Lango, Atul Patel


Introduction: Increased survival of preterm babies in sub-saharan Africa has held to an increasing prevalence of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This study was done to determine the ROP prevalence in a hospital with advanced neonatal care in urban Kenya. Methods: A hospitalbased retrospective review of the records of premature infants screened for ROP between January 2010 and December 2015. Records of all premature infants screened for ROP in the neonatal unit and outpatient eye clinic were extracted. Information on Birth weights, Gestational age, Maternal risk factors (mode of delivery, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia) and Neonatal risk factors (neonatal sepsis, days on oxygen, blood transfusion) was recorded in a questionnaire then analysed. Results: 103 infants were included in the study. Mean gestational age was 29.9 ± 2.2 weeks and the mean birth weight was 1280.1 ± 333.0 grams. Forty-three infants were diagnosed with ROP, a prevalence of 41.7%. Majority of these had Stage 1 or 2 ROP in Zone II, which spontaneously regressed with follow up. Nine infants were diagnosed with vision-threatening ROP (any Zone I disease or Stage 2/3 disease in Zone II with plus disease), a prevalence of 20.9%. All of these underwent laser treatment in the neonatal unit. The most significant risk factor was low gestational age. Other risk factors identified were: low birth weight and blood transfusions. Conclusion: ROP prevalence in sub-saharan Africa will match those in middle-income and high income countries in neonatal units with advanced care and low mortality.

AJOL African Journals Online