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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 105-109

The prevalence of neural tube defects in live born neonates in Kano, North-Western Nigeria

1 Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Department of Surgery, Paediatric Surgery Unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Lofty-John Chukwuemeka Anyanwu
Department of Surgery, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
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DOI: 10.4103/2384-5147.164417

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Background: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are congenital malformations of the cranium, spine, and nervous system. About 350,000 infants are born with NTDs yearly worldwide. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and spectrum of NTDs in live-born neonates in the Kano Metropolis of North-western Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective study of all live-born neonates in three selected hospitals in the Kano metropolis between April 2013 and December 2013. A descriptive study design was employed. Neonates delivered at gestational ages 28 weeks or more were examined within 48 h of birth for external congenital anomalies. Detailed family history and clinical data were recorded for each child. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 15.0 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Results: Of the 1456 neonates recruited into the study, there were 757 (52%) boys and 699 (48%) girls. Of these, 4 neonates (2 boys and 2 girls) had NTDs (male:female ratio = 1:1), giving a birth prevalence of NTDs (2 spina bifida cystic, 1 anencephaly, and 1 encephalocele) of 2.75/1000 live births. The mean gestational age for the neonates with NTDs was 38 weeks (standard deviation [SD] 2.16 weeks) while their mean birth weight was 2.93 kg (SD 0.51 kg). Only 5.03% of the mothers in this study began the use of folic acid-containing multivitamin supplement at least 1-month before or in the 1 st month of the index pregnancy. Conclusion: Given the high prevalence of NTDs in this study, public health measures aimed at the prevention of this anomaly should be encouraged.

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