We are very excited to share a new highly informative publication discussing the antenatal diagnosis rates for congenital anomalies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Congenital anomalies are the 5th leading cause of death in children under-5 globally resulting in over half a million deaths every year. Over 95% of these deaths occur in LMICs.
Antenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies and delivery at a hospital providing the necessary paediatric surgical care at birth have contributed greatly to improved survival in HICs.
Some of the key findings were:
- Antenatal ultrasound scanning rates are low in many LMICs – median 50% in African studies (likely lower at a population level).
- Even when undertaken, antenatal ultrasound scans are often for dating/sex determination rather than congenital anomaly screening.
- In women who undergo an antenatal ultrasound scan, the detection rate for congenital anomalies is low – just 16.7% are detected antenatally in Africa, even when a scan is done.
- Training level may affect detection rates and requires further investigation.
- Further research is urgently required to understand and realise the potential for improving survival and reducing disability from congenital anomalies in LMICs through antenatal diagnosis and optimised care following birth.
For the full-text, click here.