Epidemiology of Cleft Lip and Palate in Nigeria: A Data-Based Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria

2 Department of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria

3 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria

4 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria


Background and aim: Prevalence of cleft lip and palate varies across geographical location, races, and ethnic groups. The global prevalence is 1 per 700 live births. We aim to establish the prevalence, socio-demographic characteristics of patients with an orofacial cleft, and associated deformities in our locality.
Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study of all the patients with cleft lip (CL), cleft palate (CP), or cleft lip/palate (CLP) managed over 12 years (2009 to 2020). A uniform Smile Train® structured interviewer-administered questionnaire completed by the Surgeons was used to obtain relevant information. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 23.
Results: A total of 280 patients were managed for cleft lip and palate deformities during this period. The estimated total live births during the period were 232,168; a prevalence rate of 0.8 per 1000 live births was thus calculated. The most common type of cleft deformity in our study is CLP (61.4%), followed by isolated CP (20.7%) and then CL (17.9%). CLP was shown to be more common among males (66.1%). However, isolated CP and CL were more common among females at 67.2% and 56%. The most common associated anomalies were speech (52.8%) and growth retardation (9.6%). The least common was limb anomalies (0.7%).
Conclusion: Our study has generated new knowledge of the epidemiological distribution of orofacial cleft deformities in our subregion made possible by the Smile Train® database. It will enable more comprehensive management of orofacial clefts.


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