Rhesus D - Negative status in females of reproductive age in the Niger - Delta area of Nigeria
AbstractTo evaluate the status of Rhesus-negative in females of reproductive age in the Niger-Delta area of Nigeria, and to briefly discuss some recent advances in the molecular biology of the Rhesus blood group, particularly the weak D or Du phenotype.
Consecutive sampling of a total of 1108 subjects attending the ante-natal and out-patient clinics was done in three health facilities in the Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria.
1003[90.5%] of the 1108 subjects were Rh-D positive while 105[9.5%]were Rh- D negative.This finding of 9.5% Rh-negativity amongst females of reproductive age in Port Harcourt is consistent with other published data in Nigeria which recorded a low trend of Rh- D negativity of 1-6%.
This finding highlights the high risk of Rh-D iso-immunization in this environment and validates the previous position that Rh-D iso-immunisation is the leading cause of haemolytic disease of the newborn and haemolytic transfusion reactions especially in pregnant mothers. This brings into focus the need to uplift the care given to Rh-negative mothers and the urgent establishment of the National blood transfusion service.
Key Words: Rhesus D negative, Status, Females, Reproductive, Port Harcourt.
Sahel Medical Journal Vol.7(2) 2004: 64-68