Objective To estimate the prevalence of gross hematuria and urinary retention among men in Sierra Leone and report on barriers to care and associated disability. Gross hematuria and urinary retention are classic urologic complaints that require medical attention for significant underlying pathology, but their burden has not been quantified in a developing country. Methods A cluster randomized, cross-sectional household survey was administered in Sierra Leone using the Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical need tool as a verbal head-to-toe examination. A total of 2 respondents in each of 25 households in 75 clusters were surveyed to assess surgical needs. Data on questions related to blood from the penis and the inability to urinate for men >12 years were included in the present analysis to determine the period and point prevalence of hematuria and urinary retention. Results From 3645 total respondents, 1054 (28.9%) were men >12 years included in the analysis. Period and point prevalence of gross hematuria were 21.8 per 1000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 13.0-30.7) and 12.3 per 1000 (95% CI 5.7-19.0), respectively, and for urinary retention, they were 19.9 per 1000 (95% CI 11.5-28.4) and 4.7 per 1000 (95% CI 0.5-8.9), respectively. Lack of financial resources was the major barrier to care. Disability assessment showed 19.1% were not able to work as a result of urinary retention, and 34.8% felt ashamed of their gross hematuria. Conclusion The results provide a prevalence estimate of gross hematuria and urinary retention for men in Sierra Leone. Accessible medical and surgical care will be critical for early intervention and management.
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