Incidence of Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn in Harare, Zimbabwe
Background: Haemolytic Disease of Newborn is responsible for a number of neonatal deaths and complications worldwide. Its incidence in Zimbabwe is not clearly understood. Objective: To find out incidence of Haemolytic Disease of Newborn in Harare and ability to identify antibodies associated with HDN. Methods: A retrospective cross sectional study at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and National Blood Service, Zimbabwe (NBSZ). We studied 22493 infants at Parirenyatwa Hospital during the 1995-1997 and 2002-2003 periods. The main outcome measures were ABO and Rh blood group results, Direct Antiglobulin Test and Maternal Antibody Screening and Identification Results were obtained from the NBSZ. Results: One hundred and ninety-one (0,85%) infants had Haemolytic Disease of Newborn. One hundred and sixty-three (85.34 %) of these were due to anti-AB, twenty five (13.09%) were due to anti-D and three (1.57%) due to anti-Kell. Incidence of Haemolytic Disease of Newborn during 1995-1997 and 2002-2003, were 0.93% and 0.64 %, respectively (p = 0.014). ABO Haemolytic Disease of Newborn showed a statistically significant difference during the two periods (p=0.003). Rhesus Haemolytic Disease of Newborn showed no statistically significant difference during same periods (p=0.317). Conclusion: The incidence of Haemolytic Disease of Newborn at Parirenyatwa Hospital is comparable with that found in other countries. It is recommended that K antigen be included in the pretransfusion testing to avoid anti-K related Haemolytic Disease of Newborn.