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East and Central African Journal of Surgery

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The Impact of HIV Infection on the Surgical Disease Burden in Africa BFK Odimba

BFK Odimba

Abstract


The Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection stands among the greatest health challenges facing Africa today. However, the impact of the pandemic on the surgical diseases burden in the continent has received scant attention in the world literature. This study had as general objective to determine through literature the impact of the HIV infection on surgical diseases in Africa and in our regions in particular. To achieve this task searched Google website in the first half of July 2008 to reference lists of literature on HIV and surgical diseases burden to add to our own humble experience. We also contacted and discussed with local experts in the field.

Data retrieved point out that HIV infection, throughout last two decades, has highly increased the number of African common surgical burdening diseases, mainly in Sub-African countries. The burden is on all categories of surgical diseases: injuries, congenital abnormalities, tumours, surgical inflammations and infections. However, while the management of the HIV and its opportunistic infections has met the attention of the international community and has continued attracting health care donors and partnerships, surgical practice has not been given any rank among disease control priorities of the United Nations Millennium Goals. It is suggested that that African surgeons, especially in sub-Saharan countries, should together join in efforts so that surgical diseases be considered as “Other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD)” listed among the UN health care problems and deserve the attention of the international committee




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