Prevalence of children with major structural birth defects in pediatric hospitals of Gaza Strip

The present study aimed to collect and evaluate the available recorded information about the occurrence of major structural birth defects (BD) in the Gaza Strip in patients between 0 and 2 years of age referred to 5 major pediatric hospitals of Gaza strip ( Nassr, Rantissi, Dorra, EGH, and Emarati) and the major pediatric surgeries (Al Shifa and EGH) registered during the first semester of 2010.

 These health facilities cover 60% residents in five cities and eight refugee camps, and 40% in villages and agricultural areas.

The frequency of BD in the age group 0-2 year was 6.3% (331/5254). These children have BD causing serious metabolic and functional problems.

Further 58 cases of 0-2 years old with BD were referred directly to surgery. After age adjustment (data by Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior, 2010) the prevalence in the population was 0.23% in the age group.

Most frequent types of BD were CHD (3.55%), Renal (0.92%), NTD (0.75%), GIT (0.52%), OTHERS (O.45%), Genital (0.26%), ABD (0.15%), Limb (0.15%), CLP (0.13%), Skeletal, other than limb (0.075%).

Some types of major structural BD are under represented in our files, such as eyes, ear anomalies, minor skeletal anomalies and cases that were sent abroad for therapy or surgery.
From our data collection there are regional differences in BD: Khan Younis and Rafah show the lowest prevalence, North the highest, all significantly different from Gaza and Middle area (p<0.001). This point deserves further investigation.
This study was within a wider effort to for reproductive health, implementation of uniform recording protocols for main pediatric facilities in GAZA Strip and management of major structural birth defects (BD) affected children.

The data here will be a reference to maintain observation in time.

Abed Y et al. 2011-Lancet Palestinian alliance.doc34.5 KB

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