Ulcerative Colitis Prone to Delayed Diagnosis in a Nigerian Population: Case Series
Inflammatory bowel disease is an emerging disease burden in the developing world. In Nigeria there is a persisting perception among physicians that it is a very rare disease, and publications on it are sparse. Early manifestations of ulcerative colitis (UC) are therefore likely to be missed at many health institutions. This publication aims to contribute to the growing literature on UC among Nigerians. We present 3 cases of UC that were diagnosed at very late stages. It took a range of 2–7 years for the diagnosis to be made from onset of symptoms. UC was confirmed in the first patient after bowel resection for massive gastrointestinal haemorrhage. The other two had colonoscopy and biopsy for confirmation. An increased awareness about UC is necessary in Nigerian population, because the condition may be commoner than hitherto thought. Provision of colonoscopy services to a wider population will assist in early discovery of this disease.
Keywords: Delayed diagnosis, Nigeria, Ulcerative colitis