• Morbidity and Mortality of Typhoid Intestinal Perforation Among Children in Sub-Saharan Africa 1995-2019: A Scoping Review

      Birkhold, M.; Sow, S.; Neuzil, K.M. (Springer, 2020)
      Background: Typhoid fever incidence and complications, including intestinal perforation, have declined significantly in high-income countries, with mortality rates <1%. However, an estimated 10.9 million cases still occur annually, most in low- and middle-income countries. With the availability of a new typhoid conjugate vaccine licensed for children and recommended by the World Health Organization, understanding severe complications, including associated mortality rates, is essential to inform country-level decisions on introduction of this vaccine. This scoping review summarizes over 20 years of the literature on typhoid intestinal perforation in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: We searched EMBASE, PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane databases for studies reporting mortality rates due to typhoid intestinal perforation in children, under 18 years old, in sub-Saharan Africa published from January 1995 through June 2019. Results: Twenty-four papers from six countries were included. Reported mortality rates ranged from 4.6-75%, with 16 of the 24 studies between 11 and 30%. Thirteen papers included postoperative morbidity rates, ranging from 16-100%. The most documented complications included surgical site infections, intra-abdominal abscesses, and enterocutaneous fistulas. High mortality rates can be attributed to late presentation to tertiary centers, sepsis and electrolyte abnormalities requiring preoperative resuscitation, prolonged perforation-to-surgery interval, and lack of access to critical care or an intensive care unit postoperatively. Conclusions: Current estimates of mortality related to typhoid intestinal perforation among children in sub-Saharan Africa remain unacceptably high. Prevention of typhoid fever is essential to reduce mortality, with the ultimate goal of a comprehensive approach that utilizes vaccination, improvements in water, sanitation, and hygiene, and greater access to surgical care. Copyright 2020, The Author(s).