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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2019 Oct-Dec;26(4):239-243. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_77_19.

Incidence, spectrum and outcome of congenital anomalies seen in a neonatal intensive care unit in Southern Nigeria.

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Department of Paediatrics, Mother and Child Hospital, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria.
Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.



Congenital anomalies (CAs) refer to defects that are present in a newborn but occurred during intrauterine life. They can be due to genetic, modifiable environmental or multifactorial causes. There was no prior report of their burden in our state.


This study aims to describe the incidence, spectrum, predisposing factors and outcome of CAs in our setting.


It was a total population study of all neonates with major birth defects admitted into the unit during the study period. Their clinical-demographic features, diagnoses and outcome were entered into an excel sheet. Clinical detection of birth defects was based on standard diagnostic criteria. The data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp. Patterns and outcome of birth defects were presented as proportions. Selected characteristics were tested for possible association with birth defect using Fisher's exact test. The level of significance was set at P < 0.05.


The incidence of major CAs was 4.3/1000 live births. Female neonates were more affected (59.0%). Participants' mean gestational age was 37.7 ± 3.3 weeks. Central nervous system anomalies were the most common (38.5%) birth defects. These were followed by musculoskeletal, body wall and digestive system anomalies: 28.2%, 23.1% and 10.3%, respectively. One-third (33.3%) of the infants had multiple anomalies. Nearly three quarters of them (74.0%) were referred, 18.0% died while 5.0% were discharged alive.


A wide range of CAs occur in our setting with dire consequences. Provision of relevant specialised multidisciplinary care is desirable. Furthermore, pubic enlightenment on its modifiable possible causes can reduce the burden.


Congenital anomalies; outcome; prevalence; spectrum

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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