If you are adopting a child from any country in Africa this is a must read article. When you are done you will probably know more then your child's doctor. At least that was the case for us with our daughter from Ethiopia and now we are going through round two of trying to make the doctors understand just how disturbing my son's recurrent loose stools are and what tests we still need to have done to explore all options. I am also trying to argue the point that maybe it would not hurt to go ahead and treat for some things given the risk of latent issues that may not be showing up on stool samples. Apparently there just are not that many kids around adopted from African countries, even with the continued surge in Ethiopian adoptions so your doc may need a little help. The specific parasite that we finally identified in our daughter almost a year after she had been home, because we would not accept her very high eosinophil levels in her bloodwork, is quoted right in the article as something to look for.
"Parasites commonly found in the water and food in orphanages include Giardia, tapeworm, roundworm, pinworm (Enterobius vermicularis), Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica, Ascaris lumbricoides, Hymenolepis nana, and Dientamoeba fragilis. Eosinophilia (increased numbers of Eosinophils in the blood count) can be related to parasitic infection, but it is related to many other medical conditions i.e. asthma, allergy. If issues persist despite negative tests or after treatment, the doctor should look for some of the parasites that don't easily show up in stool, esp. Strongyloides, Schistosomiasis, and Filariasis."
We however had to drive all the way to the Denver Children's Hospital to get the correct test completed. O.k. enough venting. The article was written by Dr. Jane Aronson, the "orphan doctor" and founder of the World Orphans Foundation, who also just received the Glamour Woman of the Year Award. Anyways while it is written specific to Ethiopian adopted kids, the information is similarly relevant to any child adopted from another African country. Here you go, happy reading: http://www.orphandoctor.com/medical/regional/ethiopia/index.html
Oh yeah, if you want to know just what a child's stinky stool is like, just come on over to my house.