Review

Epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease in sub-Saharan Africa: A review of the current status

G Watermeyer, D Epstein, O Adegoke, C Kassianides, O Ojo, M Setshedi

Abstract


While inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been well characterised in the West and other parts of the world, there are little data from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). To throw light on the current status of IBD in SSA, we performed a systematic review of the literature, extracting relevant publications. We found only 210 documented IBD cases in SSA (excluding South Africa (SA)), which were reported in 34 publications until August 2019. The majority were cases of ulcerative colitis. Only three reports, all from SA, attempted to determine IBD incidence rates. The rest were mostly case reports or small case series; the largest from Nigeria comprised 32 patients. The paucity of documented cases possibly reflects under-diagnosis and under-reporting. Major deficiencies in diagnostic and clinical capacity were noted, which need to be addressed going forward.


Authors' affiliations

G Watermeyer, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

D Epstein, Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

O Adegoke, Department of Pathology, University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

C Kassianides, Morningside Mediclinic, Johannesburg, South Africa

O Ojo, Gastroenterology and Liver Pathology Unit, Obafemi Awolowo University and Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

M Setshedi, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Inflammatory bowel disease; IBD; Crohn's disease; Ulcerative colitis; Sub-Saharan Africa; Epidemiology

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(10):1006-1009. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i10.14489

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-09-30
Date published: 2020-09-30

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