Objective The study was conducted to determine the epidemiology and clinical profile of individuals with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) utilizing specialized academic treatment centres in South Africa’s public health sector. Materials and methods The Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg provided ethical approval for the study. We conducted a retrospective record review of all cases of CLP treated at the specialised academic centres for the two-year period from 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2014. We used a structured, pre-tested record review form to obtain demographic, clinical and treatment information on each CLP case. We used Stata 13 to analyse the data and conducted statistical tests at 5% significance level. Results We analysed 699 records of individuals with CLP. The estimated prevalence of CLP in the South African public health sector was 0.3 per 1000 live births, with provincial variation of 0.1/1000 to 1.2/1000. The distribution of clefts was: 35.3% cleft palate; 34.6% cleft lip and palate; 19.0% cleft lip and other cleft anomalies at 2%. Of the total number of CLP, 47.5% were male and 52.5% female, and this difference was statistically significant (p<0.001). The majority of clefts occurred on the left for males (35.5%) and palate for females (43.4%), with a male predominance of unilateral cleft lip and palate (53.3%). Conclusion The study findings should inform the implementation of South Africa’s planned birth defect surveillance system and health service planning for individuals with CLP.
Hlongwa, P., Levin, J., & Rispel, L. C. (2019). Epidemiology and clinical profile of individuals with cleft lip and palate utilising specialised academic treatment centres in South Africa. PLoS ONE, 14(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215931