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Parasitic infestations requiring surgical interventions.

Parasitic infestation is common in developing countries especially in Africa. Children are often more vulnerable to these infections. Many health problems result from these infestations, including malnutrition, iron-deficiency anemia, surgical morbidities, and even impaired cognitive function and educational achievement. Surgical intervention may be needed to treat serious complications caused by some of these parasites. Amoebic colitis and liver abscess caused by protozoan infections; intestinal obstruction, biliary infestation with cholangitis and liver abscess, and pancreatitis caused by Ascaris lumbricoides; biliary obstruction caused by Faschiola; hepatic and pulmonary hydatid cysts caused by Echinococcus granulosus and multilocularis are examples. Expenditure of medical care of affected children may cause a great burden on many African governments, which are already suffering from economic instability. The clinical presentation, investigation, and management of some parasitic infestations of surgical relevance in African children are discussed in this article.

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