Porphyria in Africa
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Until recently, porphyria has been regarded as a rare condition in most countries and has merited but passing comment in standard textbooks of medicine. As this is a condition requiring a high index of diagnostic suspicion, it seems a useful task to present the common features of the disorder as seen in Europeans and Africans, to comment on the procedures necessary for diagnosis and to speculate on the factors precipitating its onset. It is becoming increasingly apparent that porphyria occurs frequently in South and Central Africa, both amongst those of European and African stock. As in other countries, the increase in diagnosis is due to the wider knowledge of its clinical manifestations and to the combined interest of both clinicians and biochemists.