A retrospective review of gastroschisis epidemiology and referral patterns in northern Ghana.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: To describe the epidemiology and referral patterns of gastroschisis patients in northern Ghana. METHODS: A hospital-based retrospective review was undertaken at Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) between 2014 and 2019. Data from gastroschisis patients were compared to patients with other surgical diagnoses. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed with SAS. Referral flow maps were made with ArcGIS. RESULTS: From a total of 360 neonates admitted with surgical conditions, 12 (3%) were diagnosed with gastroschisis. Around 91% (n = 10) of gastroschisis patients were referred from other hospitals, traveling 4 h, on average. Referral patterns showed gastroschisis patients were admitted from three regions, whereas patients with other surgical diagnoses were admitted from eight regions. Only 6% (12/201) of expected gastroschisis cases were reported during the 6-year period in all regions. All gastroschisis deaths occurred within the first week of life. CONCLUSIONS: Improving access to surgical care and reducing neonatal mortality related to gastroschisis in northern Ghana is critical. This study provides a baseline to inform future gastroschisis interventions at TTH. Priority areas may include special management of low birth weight newborns, better referral systems, empowerment of community health workers, and increasing access to timely, affordable, and safe neonatal transport.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abdul-Mumin, A; Cotache-Condor, C; Owusu, SA; Grimm, A; Mahama, H; Wright, N; Abantanga, FA; Smith, ER; Tabiri, S; Global Initiative for Children Surgery,

Published Date

  • August 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1069 - 1078

PubMed ID

  • 34059928

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1437-9813

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00383-021-04898-y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany