Typhoid ileal perforation in children in Benin city
Background: Typhoid ileal perforation is a common complication of typhoid fever, a multi-systemic infection, which is endemic in many developing countries.
Objective: This study reviews and compares the incidence, morbidity and mortality at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital with other referral centres located in areas with similar socioeconomic and population status.
Materials and Methods: The incidence, morbidity and mortality of typhoid ileal perforation in children treated among Edo People at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, in the period from 1993 to 2007 were
retrospectively studied and compared with centres in localities of similar socioeconomic and population status.
Results: Twelve children, all of middle class parents who resided in suburban community with poor water supply and substandard sewage disposal, accounted for 70.6% patients with typhoid ileal perforation managed over 15 years while 29.4% occurred in adults. The children
comprised seven males and five females (M/F ratio 1.4:1), aged between five and 13 (average 9) years. This number seen over 15 years in this centre was extremely low when compared with other referral centres; as many as 191 patients were seen over 10 months in one of the centres.
The few patients seen were traced to cultural beliefs in Benin City, which influenced proper sewage disposal by the about four million Edo people, especially those living in rural areas. Consequently, no child from the rural area with clean natural water supply or urban areas with pipe born
water supply where sewages are disposed of properly had typhoid perforation. Unacceptably high morbidity (100%) and mortality (75%) due to late referrals were recorded in comparison with other centres.
Conclusion: Proper sewage disposal may have influenced the low incidence in this centre but early referral is advocated so as to reduce the high associated morbidity and mortality.