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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2019 Jul-Sep;26(3):143-151. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_72_19.

Epidemiology of surgical site infections in Nigeria: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.



Surgical site infection (SSI) is a major patient safety concern in hospitals. Unlike most developed countries, Nigeria does not yet have an established national system to monitor the occurrence of this infection. This meta-analysis was thus designed to determine the pooled cumulative incidence of SSIs and various determinants of its occurrence in Nigeria.


The electronic databases were systematically searched for articles reporting the occurrence and risk factors associated with SSIs in Nigeria from January 2000 to December 2018. The eligible articles were evaluated using a set of pre-defined criteria. The extracted data were analysed using the comprehensive meta-analysis software. The Begg and Egger's regression tests were used to assess the risk of bias of the included publications.


Thirty-two articles emanating from the six geopolitical regions of Nigeria were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled cumulative incidence of SSIs was 14.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.113-0.184) with the highest incidence reported in the north-eastern region (27.3%, 95% CI: 0.132-0.481) of the country. It was also found to occur more predominantly following colorectal and abdominal surgeries, among elderly patients and in patients with co-morbid conditions. The most frequently reported was the superficial incisional SSIs occurring in 62.5% (95% CI: 0.333-0.848). Higher preponderance was also observed among patients with dirty wounds (52.7%, 95% CI: 0.367-0.682).


This meta-analysis documents for the first time the national burden of SSIs in Nigeria. Control measures geared towards its reduction should be strengthened and a national policy on SSI surveillance, prevention and control developed.


Epidemiology; infections; meta-analysis; surgical wound

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