Year of Publication
BACKGROUND: An understanding of the prevalence patterns of skin diseases in children in Botswana is needed to guide national dermatological policy development, training, and resource allocation to improve patient care.
OBJECTIVE: To describe local skin disease patterns in children aged 0-18 years presenting for dermatologic care in Botswana.
METHODS: A retrospective review of records from 1st January 2011 to 31st December 2016 was conducted at the outpatient dermatology clinic of Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) in Gaborone, Botswana and outreach clinic sites.
RESULTS: There were 4413 pediatric visits constituting 18.6% of all dermatology visits. There was a slight male predominance of 1.2:1. The majority of disorders were noninfectious 80.1% (3537/4413) versus infectious 14.6% (645/4413), with 5.2% (231/4413) unclassified. In the noninfectious category, two-thirds were inflammatory, followed by disorders of nails, skin appendages, and pigmentary disorders. Atopic dermatitis was the most common inflammatory disorder. Over half of infectious skin diseases were viral, followed by fungal and bacterial disorders. In the HIV-related disorders, the majority were verrucae 94% (108/115) followed by Kaposi sarcoma. The nine most common skin diagnoses accounted for close to 70% of all skin diseases seen at the clinic, and these included atopic dermatitis (almost half of all cases), followed by verruca, acne, and vitiligo.
CONCLUSION: There is a high burden of skin disorders in children in Botswana. In our cohort, a small number of skin conditions made up the vast majority of pediatric diagnoses. This information can be used to guide dermatology training and resource allocation to better manage these common diseases.