Prevalence of Congenital Birth Defect Among Neonates Admitted to Special New born Care Unit


Admitted to Special New born Care Unit

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Congenital birth defect means the defect or malformation that is present at birth. It is an abnormality of physical structure that is seen at birth or within few weeks after birth. According WHO documents 1972, the term congenital birth defect (CBD) should be confined to structural defects present at birth. CBD can be classified in to major and minor. Minor defects have structural abnormality present at birth with minimal effect on clinical function, but they may have a cosmetic effect e.g. preauricular tag in Goldenhar syndrome. But major malformation results on significant effect of function or on social acceptability e.g. ventricular septal defect (VSD) and cleft lip.

A syndrome is a pattern of abnormalities that occur together and are associated with a set number of signs and symptoms while dysmorphology is the study of abnormalities of human form and its mechanism that cause these abnormalities. Almost 20-30% of infantile mortality and 30% to 50% post-neonatal deaths are due to CBD. First trimester is the crucial period for morphogenesis of organs, especially between the 3rd and 8th weeks of gestation where any insult in any form can cause congenital abnormality. So, this is the period for preventive intervention strategy especially for developing countries where prevalence of CBD is very high. In south east Nigeria prevalence of CBD is higher (29.4%) in low birth weight (LBW) babies than normal birth weight babies (35.3%) and in consanguineous than non-consanguineous marriages in India.

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