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Niger J Med. 2004 Jan-Mar;13(1):48-51.

Awareness and acceptability of prenatal diagnosis of sickle cell anaemia among health professionals and students in North Eastern Nigeria.

Author information

1
Department of Haematology, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Nigeria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The genetic control of sickle cell anaemia through prenatal diagnosis was recently introduced in Nigeria. Its acceptability will depend on some factors such as religious, political and social attitudes of the populace. The aim of the study was to determine the awareness and acceptability of parental diagnosis of sickle cell anaemia among health professionals and students in North Eastern Nigeria.

METHOD:

Structured questionnaires were administered to health professionals and students.

RESULTS:

Of 353 respondents interviewed, 279 (79%) were from Borno State, while 36 (10.2%) and 38 (10.8%) were from Yobe and Bauchi States respectively. Two hundred and four (57.8%) practised Islam while 149 (42.2%) were Christians. Ninety-five (26.9%) of the respondents were doctors, 17 (4.8%) pharmacists 37 (10.5%) technologists while 107 (30.3%) were nurses, 82 (23.2%) medical students and 15 (4.2%) physiotherapists. Two hundred and fifty seven (72.8%) had heard about Prenatal Diagnosis (PND) of Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA). Fifty three percent (187) of the respondents would not like to terminate pregnancy by abortion if prenatal diagnosis confirmed sickle cell anaemia (SCA) in first trimester with significantly more Christians saying no to abortion. Only 50 (14.2%) of the respondents knew where facilities for prenatal diagnosis are obtainable in Nigeria whereas 85.8% (303) did not.

CONCLUSION:

Religion may be a major factor militating against acceptability of prenatal diagnosis of SCA in North Eastern part of Nigeria. The awareness of where facilities for prenatal diagnosis are obtainable in Nigeria among health professionals and students is also lacking. There is a need to educate our religious leaders, government and non-government organizations and the populace.

PMID:
15296108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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