Connective Tissue Diseases: Challenges of management among Nigerians

  • O O Adelowo
Keywords: Arthritis, Challenges of management, Connective Tissue Diseases, Nigerians, Scleroderma, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Scleroderma, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.


Contrary to previous assumptions, Connective Tissue Diseases (CTD) are increasingly being reported among Africans, Nigerians inclusive. The clinical presentations are mostly similar to patterns described in other parts of the world, though with few differences. The management is patterned, as universally done, but drugs such as the biologics are infrequently used because of the prohibitive cost. The challenges of management arise mainly from a poor understanding of the spectrum, presentation and management of CTD as well as the non-affordability of the required drugs. The superstitious belief that these poorly-understood conditions are due to 'spiritual attacks' further compounds the problem of late presentation and sometimes accounts for the high morbidity and mortality. Continuing training of rheumatologists will enhance the understanding and management of rheumatological diseases.


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