Assessing the prevalence of spina bifida and encephalocele in a Kenyan hospital from 2005–2010: implications for a neural tube defects surveillance system
Published Date:May 18 2014
Source:Pan Afr Med J. 2014; 18.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4473786
Neural tube defects such as anencephaly, spina bifida, and encephalocele are congenital anomalies of the central nervous system. Data on the prevalence of neural tube defects in Kenya are limited. This study characterizes and estimates the prevalence of spina bifida and encephalocele reported in a referral hospital in Kenya from 2005-2010.
Cases were defined as a diagnosis of spina bifida or encephalocele. Prevalence was calculated as the number of cases by year and province of residence divided by the total number of live-births per province.
From a total of 6,041 surgical records; 1,184 (93%) had reported diagnosis of spina bifida and 88 (7%) of encephalocele. Estimated prevalence of spina bifida and encephalocele from 2005-2010 was 3.3 [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 3.1-3.5] cases per 10,000 live-births. The highest prevalence of cases were reported in 2007 with 4.4 (95% CI: 3.9-5.0) cases per 10,000 live-births. Rift Valley province had the highest prevalence of spina bifida and encephalocele at 6.9 (95% CI: 6.3-7.5) cases per 10,000 live-births from 2005-2010.
Prevalence of spina bifida and encephalocele is likely underestimated, as only patients seeking care at the hospital were included. Variations in regional prevalence could be due to referral patterns and healthcare access. Implementation of a neural tube defects surveillance system would provide a more thorough assessment of the burden of neural tube defects in Kenya.
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