Prevalence of Spina Bifida among Newborns in Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis



Oumer M, Taye M, Aragie H, Tazebew A.


Scientifica (Cairo). 2020 Oct 6;2020:4273510. doi: 10.1155/2020/4273510. 2020.


Spina bifida is an abnormal closure of the neural tube during the fourth week of development. It is the major cause of fetal loss and considerable disabilities in newborns. The aim of this review is to determine the pooled prevalence of spina bifida among newborns in Africa. PubMed/Medline, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Library, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, African Journals Online, and Embase databases were systematically searched. Cochran Q test and I (2) test statistics were applied to assess heterogeneity across studies. A random-effect model was applied to calculate the pooled prevalence of spina bifida. Forest plot and Galbraith’s plot were used to visualize heterogeneity. Subgroup, sensitivity, meta-regression, and meta-cumulative analyses were performed. All essential data were extracted using a standardized data extraction format, and the JBI quality appraisal checklist was used to assess the quality of studies. Egger’s test and Begg’s test were used in order to detect the publication bias. In the present systematic review and meta-analysis, 6,587,298 births in twenty-seven studies were included. The pooled birth prevalence of spina bifida in Africa was 0.13% with a range between 0.12% and 0.14%. In Africa, the highest burden of spina bifida was detected in Algeria (0.43%), Ethiopia (0.32%), Tanzania (0.26%), Cameron (0.12%), Egypt (0.10%), and South Africa (0.10%). The lowest burden of spina bifida was detected in Libya (0.006%) and Tunisia (0.009%). The high birth prevalence of spina bifida was detected in Africa. There was a significant variation in the prevalence of spina bifida among study countries in Africa. The authors recommend that special awareness creation with the help of health education intervention should be provided for mothers to focus on prevention in order to reduce the burden of spina bifida. CI – Copyright © 2020 Mohammed Oumer et al.

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Link/DOI: 10.1155/2020/4273510