Congenital disorders and community genetic services in Nigeria: A systematic review

Maclawrence K. Famuyiwa


Nigeria has a large number of congenital disorders (CD). For instance, two out of every hundred children born in Nigeria have sickle cell disorders (SCD). Making Nigeria the country with the highest incidence of SCD. This article reviews the prevalence of CD in Nigeria; with emphasis on those having a heavy statistical burden on the country, the availability of community genetics services in Nigeria and the efforts being made to tackle the challenges of CD. A systematic review of birth prevalence of congenital malformations (CM) in Nigeria was done through a literature search, with no time restriction for publication dates. Only studies that included the birth prevalence of CM were included. Eligible studies with incorrect or missing data were excluded. This revealed a dearth of data on CD in Nigeria, as in most Low- and Middle-Income Countries. A predominance of CM of the musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal systems was found in Nigeria. However, the pattern of CM in the South-South region was more of the central nervous system. There is scarcity of resources to address the challenges of CD in Nigeria with feeble government assistance. Meanwhile, 70% of CD can be prevented and adequately managed by well implemented community genetics services. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020; 24[3]: 161-175).

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