Prevalence and factors associated with external congenital anomalies in new born babies at Mulago hospital.
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BACKGROUND: Congenital anomalies are defects present at birth. Congenital anomalies have emerged as a problem in developed countries occurring in about 2-3% of all newborn babies. The problem of congenital anomalies in developing countries, and in particular Uganda has not attracted much attention. There is limited research in this field thus complicating government planning and budgeting to address this problem. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with external congenital anomalies in newborn babies in mulago hospital. METHODS: A Cross sectional descriptive study with an analytical component conducted in the labour wards and special care unit of new mulago hospital complex. The study population included mothers and their newborn babies born during the study period of October 2007 to January 2008. The babies were examined for only external congenital anomalies. No invasive procedures were used in the study. RESULTS: A total of 754 new born babies and 741 mothers were involved in the study. The majority of mothers were Baganda, accounting for a total percentage of 61.7%. The age of mothers involved in the study ranged from 15-45 years, with the mean age being 23.65 and the mode 19%. 52.8% of all babies were males, 47.0% were females while 0.2% was for the hermaphrodite. Of the754 babies, 33 had external congenital anomalies. The overall prevalence of external congenital anomalies was 4.4%. The different anomalies found included limbs anomalies (45.7%), cleft lip and palate (14.2%), CNS (8.5%), Omphalocele (5.8%), spina bifida (5.8%) and others (20.0%). Increased risk of external anomalies was great with maternal smoking, alcohol consumption, positive history of congenital anomalies and steroidal therapy during pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS/ RECOMMENDATIONS: The total prevalence of external congenital anomalies in new born babies was higher than that of prevalence got from studies elsewhere that is of 2-3%. However, there is to carry out a wider study to get the overall prevalence of both external and internal congenital anomalies as well as determine the role of other factors in the aetiology of congenital anomalies in new born babies in Uganda.