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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-17

The burden and management of neonatal jaundice in Nigeria: A scoping review of the literature


1 Centre for Healthy Start Initiative, 286A Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Newborn Unit, Massey Street Children's Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Pediatrics, Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA
4 Department of Pediatrics, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
B O Olusanya
Centre for Healthy Start Initiative, 286A Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.173703

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Neonatal jaundice is a leading cause of hospitalization in the first week of life worldwide. If inappropriately managed, it may result in significant bilirubin-induced mortality and disability. We set out to describe the epidemiology of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia as well as the practices and challenges in the care of infants with significant neonatal hyperbilirubinemia (SNH) in Nigeria, as basis for policy intervention and research priorities. We systematically searched PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, WHO Library Database, African Index Medicus, African Journals Online, and local journals for studies published between January 1960 and December 2014. We included studies, without restriction on methodological design that provided evidence on the incidence/prevalence, etiological /risk factors and adverse outcomes of hyperbilirubinemia, care-seeking practices, diagnosis and treatment, as well as follow-up evaluation of infants with SNH in Nigeria. A total of 558 studies were identified from all sources out of which 198 (35.5%) were finally selected. SNH accounted for about one in five neonatal admissions and has been associated consistently with substantial case fatality and neuro-developmental sequelae such as cerebral palsy and auditory impairments, especially among out-born babies. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, prematurity/low birth weight, infection, and ABO incompatibility were most frequently, and Rhesus disease rarely, associated with SNH. Late presentation at appropriate health facilities was common and resulted in high rates of acute bilirubin encephalopathy (ABE), kernicterus and avoidable exchange transfusions. Uniform practice guidelines, including developmental assessment and surveillance of infants with SNH, were rare at all levels of healthcare delivery. In summary, since 1960, SHN persists as a major contributor to neonatal mortality and developmental disabilities in Nigeria. The underpinning maternal, perinatal and neonatal factors as well as systems-based constraints are not insurmountable. Systematic and sustained interventions are warranted to curtail the disproportionate and perennial burden of this condition in this population.


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