Epidemiological characteristics of patients with Myelomeningocoeles presenting to University Teaching Hospital - Lusaka
Lungu, Martha Mwewa
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This study was carried out to highlight epidemiological characteristics that children with cranio - spinal dysraphism such as myelomeningocoeles presenting to the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka had. Records of patients presenting to the University Teaching hospital from June 1994 to December 2002 were looked at and the data noted. Then a prospective study was carried out over a period of 10 months starting in August 2003 to June 2004. The details of how this was undertaken are described below. A total of fifty (50) patients were seen from August 2003 to June 2004. There were twenty-eight (28) females and twenty-two (22) males. Of these, thirty-six (36) had myelomeningocoeles, and encephalocoeles and meningocoeles were seven patients each respectively. Their socioeconomic status was predominantly low (86,1%). Folic acid intake by their mothers was 51.4%. The maternal age ranged was from 15 to 40 years. The average gestational month at the first ANC attendance was 4 (four) months. The educational standard of these mothers was mostly primary school education (45.7%). The maternal ethnic pattern for myelomeningocoeles was highest in the Bembas (20.0%) and seconded by the Tonga's (17.1%) whereas the Tonga tribe led overall for all the neural tube defects noted. Most patients with myelomeningocoeles were from within Lusaka (38.9%). The sacral area was the most commonly affected site for myelomeningocoele (36.1%).
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