Document Detail


Epidemiological patterns of scurvy among Ethiopian refugees.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2788528     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
In the Horn of Africa, scurvy is a serious public health problem for refugees who are dependent on standard relief food (cereals, legumes, and oil). To assess the risk factors and to quantify the potential magnitude of scurvy among these displaced communities, we reviewed data collected from 1985 to 1987 by relief programmes in five refugee camps in Somalia and one in the Sudan. Outbreaks of clinical scurvy occurred among refugees in all the camps from 3 to 4 months after their arrival. The incidence of scurvy in two camps was, respectively, 14% over a period of 4 months and 19.8% over a period of 18 months. Prevalences of scurvy estimated from random population samples in the six study camps ranged from 13.6% to 44%. The risk of developing scurvy increased significantly with the length of time that refugees had been in the camps and was also significantly higher among those who were older and among females, particularly those of childbearing age. The prevalence of scurvy among refugees was similar, irrespective of whether or not they had attended supplementary feeding programmes. The control measures that were implemented had a moderate and slow impact on the disease. In both Somalia and the Sudan the relief food distributed to the refugees was almost completely deficient in vitamin C, while the environment where the camps were located precluded an adequate supply of fresh food. To avoid scurvy among refugee communities in this area of Africa it is therefore recommended that vitamin C supplements be added to the relief food at an early stage of a crisis.
Authors:
J C Desenclos; A M Berry; R Padt; B Farah; C Segala; A M Nabil
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Bulletin of the World Health Organization     Volume:  67     ISSN:  0042-9686     ISO Abbreviation:  Bull. World Health Organ.     Publication Date:  1989  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-09-27     Completed Date:  1989-09-27     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7507052     Medline TA:  Bull World Health Organ     Country:  SWITZERLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  309-16     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Adolescent
Adult
Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
Child
Child, Preschool
Cohort Studies
Cross-Sectional Studies
Disease Outbreaks*
Ethiopia / ethnology
Female
Humans
Infant
Infant, Newborn
Male
Middle Aged
Refugees*
Risk Factors
Scurvy / drug therapy,  epidemiology*,  etiology
Somalia
Sudan
Chemical
Reg. No./Substance:
50-81-7/Ascorbic Acid
Comments/Corrections

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