Awareness of European practitioners toward uncommon tropical diseases: are we prepared to deal with mass migration? Results of an international survey

Abstract

Purpose

The recent rise in migration from Africa through the Mediterranean basin into Europe has resulted in an increased incidence of uncommon diseases such as schistosomiasis and genito-urinary tuberculosis, which were previously largely unknown in this region. This study aimed to evaluate the insight of European urologists into diagnosing and managing these disease conditions and to determine whether they were adequately prepared to deal with the changing disease spectrum in their countries.

Methods

A survey including specific questions about the diagnosis and management of ‘tropical’ urological diseases was distributed among urologists working in Europe and Africa. Multivariate logistic regression models were performed to detect the continent (African or European) effect on knowledge of and insight into tropical urological diseases.

Results

A total of 312 surveys were administered. African and European respondents accounted for 109 (36.09%) and 193 (63.91%) respondents, respectively. The multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated a significant deficiency in the knowledge of tropical urological diseases in the European cohort compared with the African cohort (p < 0.05). Moreover, in the European cohort, markedly superior knowledge of tropical urological diseases was observed for respondents who had previously worked in a developing country.

Conclusions

Though European urologists are not required to have the same insight as African urologists, they showed a very unsatisfactory knowledge of tropical urological diseases. The experience of working in a developing country could improve the knowledge of European urologists regarding tropical urological diseases.

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Acknowledgements

We sincerely thank Dr Heidi van Deventer and the Writing Lab of the University of Stellenbosch for the editing of the manuscript.

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Contributions

GM—idea, study design, data collection, data analysis and manuscript writing. AM—study design, editing of the manuscript and critical review. CT—study design, editing of the manuscript and critical review. FG—data collection, data analysis and manuscript writing. ADZ—study design and data collection. ALV—study design and data collection. HMA—study design and data collection. AT—data collection. FE—data collection. EOO—data collection. NR—data collection. MB—data collection. GB—study design, editing of the manuscript and critical review.

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Correspondence to Guglielmo Mantica.

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Mantica, G., Van der Merwe, A., Terrone, C. et al. Awareness of European practitioners toward uncommon tropical diseases: are we prepared to deal with mass migration? Results of an international survey. World J Urol 38, 1773–1786 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00345-019-02957-7

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Keywords

  • Schistosomiasis
  • Squamous bladder cancer
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Training