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Congenital Anomalies in a Tertiary Healthcare Institution in Rivers State, Nigeria

Aminaho Ehianu Maynard


This study investigated congenital anomalies in a tertiary healthcare institution in Rivers State, Nigeria. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence and patterns of congenital anomalies in the hospital. The study adopted descriptive retrospective design. The study population included cases of congenital anomalies record in the tertiary healthcare institution from January 2015 to January 2019 which totaled 3171 out of which a sample of 203 was selected using the purposive sampling technique.  The instrument for data collection was the researcher (self) structured checklist with a reliability index of 0.77. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages. Results revealed that the prevalence of congenital anomalies in the tertiary healthcare institution from January 2015 to January 2019 was 6%; maternal parity, type of gestation, self medication and use of herbal medication were significantly associated with congenital anomalies; the types of congenital anomalies diagnosed include myelomeningocele (4%), hydrocephalus (2.5%), neural tube effect (2%), ventricular septal defect (4%),  atrial septal defect (2%), patent ductus arteriosus (2%), ventriculomegaly (1%), unspecified heart disease (2%), oesophageal atresia (3%), malrotation (4%), hirchsprung’s disease (3%), cleft lip and palate (5%), eye anomaly (4.4%), urinary/genital (6.4%), omphalocele (4%), skeletal (6%), talipes equinovarus (7%), polydactyly (4.4%), inguinal hernia (5%), umbilical hernia (9.4%), laryngomalacia (4.4%), down syndrome (3.4%), undescended testes(2%), microcephaly (3.4%), spinal bifida (3.4%) and microphthalmia (3.4%);  the variables of sex, gestational age at birth, mode of delivery, obstetric complication, birth weight, asphyxia and maternal age did not  significantly influence the prevalence of congenital anomalies in neonates.  The study concluded that there is an increasing prevalence of congenital anomalies in neonates. Based on the study findings, the need for healthcare providers including Midwives to provide mothers and the general public with information on the causes and preventive strategies for congenital anomalies was recommended.


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