Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Uganda Program on Infections and Cancers (UPCID), Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda

2 School of Health Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda

Abstract

Background: Lymphomas are a complex group of malignancies that require advanced technology for proper classification. Unfortunately Uganda, as with numerous other Sub-Saharan African countries, lacks these resources. As a result, lymphoma diagnoses do not follow WHO guidelines.Methods: Histopathology records at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Department of Pathology and the population estimates available through the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2011) were used to calculate the prevalence of lymphomas in Uganda. Results: The most common pediatric (age: less than 15 years) lymphoma was Burkitt’s lymphoma, followed by lymphoblastic lymphoma. For adolescents and young adults (age: 15 to 24 years), Hodgkin’s lymphoma was the leading subtype, followed by lymphoblastic lymphoma. For adults, small lymphocytic lymphoma was the most common subtype, followed by Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In this study there was a dip in the prevalence of lymphomas during the period 1979 to 1988, followed by a steady increase. This coincided with the time when Uganda lost many of its experts because of political turmoil and therefore might be due to a lack of clinicians and histopathologists that lead to this decline.Conclusion: This study highlights the deficiencies in diagnosis of lymphomas, making it difficult to compare with other centers. There is a need to invest in immuno- histochemistry techniques to aid better classification of lymphomas in Uganda.