Need for paediatric surgery care in an urban area of The Gambia

Trop Doct. 2003 Apr;33(2):91-4. doi: 10.1177/004947550303300212.


The report evaluates the need for paediatric surgical care in an urban area of sub-Saharan Africa. Seven hundred and forty-one children were treated for surgical problems from January through December 1997. The most common surgical problems were injuries (67.1%), congenital anomalies (15.0%) and surgical infections (6.7%). Forty-six per cent of children presenting with a surgical problem required a surgical procedure, 68.2% of which were classified as minor. The annual presentation rate for all surgical conditions was 543 per 10,000 children aged 0-14 years. The estimated cumulative risk for all surgical conditions is 85.4% by age 15 years. Our data suggest surgical diseases commonly affect children living in Banjul. Surgical care should be an essential component of child health programmes in developing countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Gambia / epidemiology
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / trends
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Health*