Inflammatory Bowel Disease consisting of two conditions, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is increasing exponentially in the developing world, including Africa.
For many patients diagnosis is delayed, due limited awareness of the condition, by healthcare professionals and patients, once diagnosed treatment may not always be appropriate and access to specialised care is limited. As a result symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fatigue are poorly controlled and quality of life of patients can be severely affected. Complications of the disease are for many patients the norm and surgery often inevitable. In addition care is poorly co-ordinated between patients, their doctors and medical funders, hindering access to the most effective treatments. Scientific knowledge about IBD in Africa is limited with most research conducted in developed countries. IBD Africa has a mandate to improve the lives of people living with IBD in Africa by addressing these many challenges.