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Prevalence of gastroschisis and its neonatal mortality in the Eastern Cape Province tertiary institutions

1 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Sello S Machaea,
16 Phezula Views, Nahoon Valley Park, East London 5247
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajps.ajps_178_21

Context: Gastroschisis is a common abdominal wall defect faced by paediatric surgeons worldwide. Early gastroschisis detection, access to improved neonatal intensive care, parenteral nutrition and surgical techniques have led to a reported improvement in mortality of between 4% and 8% in high-income countries. In low to middle income countries, such as in Southern Africa, however, there is as much as 84% mortality among patients with gastroschisis. This is thought to be due to factors such as lack of antenatal screening, access to neonatal intensive care services and parenteral nutrition. Aims: The purpose of this study was to calculate the prevalence of gastroschisis and report on its neonatal mortality in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Settings and Design: A retrospective observational study on all neonates with gastroschisis, presenting to a tertiary facility offering paediatric surgical services within the Eastern Cape Province from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018. Subjects and Methods: A convenience sampling method was used in retrieving patient files for the study period. Statistical analysis used: Stata version 13. Results: Thirty-seven neonates were included in the study. The prevalence of gastroschisis ranged from 0.07% to 0.18% throughout the 3-year study. The majority (81%) of the neonates were outborn and delivered by mode of caesarean section. Nearly 60% (n = 22) were female. 54% (n = 20) of neonates died within the neonatal period. Conclusions: The majority of the neonates in this study were outborn and female. Although their mortality rate was higher than reported in high-income countries, it was much improved from what is reported in the low to middle income countries.

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