Introduction: Surgically correctable congenital anomalies are responsible for a significant burden of
morbidity and mortality in children from low-and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs). Early identification
through fetal and neonatal screening is critical to reducing death and disability. This study aims
to identify feasible screening methods for surgically correctable congenital anomalies in LMICs.
Methods: A systematic search looking at screening for congenital anomalies in LMIC was conducted in
seven databases from 2000 until May 25, 2020, with no language restriction. All articles discussing
screening methods for surgically correctable congenital anomalies in LMICs were included. Articles were
screened by two independent contributors using Rayyan software, with a third contributor resolving
conflicts. Feasibility of the screening method and its risk of bias were assessed using the MINORS scale.
Results: Of 3473 articles, 24 were included in the full-text review. Nine screening methods (three prenatal
and six postnatal) were identified - the most frequently utilized being physician clinical examination
(45.8%), pulse oximetry (33.3%) and fetal ultrasound (20.8%). The use of a birth defect picture
toolkit was the most feasible screening method. The risk of bias scale yielded an average of 11.9 points,
which corresponds to a moderate level of bias.
Conclusion: Despite clear benefits, prenatal and neonatal screening methods are infrequently used in
LMICs to identify surgically correctable congenital anomalies in neonates, likely due to financial, material,
and human resource constraints. Further research into the development of low-cost feasible methods is
needed within these settings.


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