The Preparing Residents for International Medical Experiences (PRIME) Simulation Workshop: Equipping Surgery and Anesthesia Trainees for International Rotations

Abstract
Introduction: Although global health training expands clinical and sociocultural expertise for graduate medical trainees and is increasingly in demand, evidence-based courses are limited. To improve self-assessed competence for clinical scenarios encountered during international rotations, we developed and assessed a simulation-based workshop called Preparing Residents for International Medical Experiences. Methods: High-fidelity simulation activities for anesthesiology, surgery, and OB/GYN trainees involved three scenarios. The first was a mass casualty in a low-resource setting requiring distribution of human and material resources. In the second, learners managed a septic operative patient and coordinated postoperative care without an ICU bed available. The final scenario had learners evaluate a non-English-speaking patient with pre-eclampsia. We paired simulation with small-group discussion to address socio-behavioural factors, stress, and teaching skills. Participants evaluated the quality of the teaching provided. In addition, we measured anesthesiology trainees’ self-assessed competence before and after the workshop. Results: The workshop included 23 learners over two iterations. Fifteen trainees (65%) completed the course evaluation, 93% of whom strongly agreed that the training met the stated objectives. Thirteen out of 15 (87%) anesthesiology trainees completed the competence survey. After the training, more trainees indicated confidence in providing clinical care with indirect supervision or independently. Mean self-assessed competency scores on a scale of 1–5 increased for all areas, with a mean competency increase of 0.3 (95% CI, 0.2–0.5). Discussion: Including simulation in a pretravel workshop can improve trainees’ self-assessed competence for a variety of scenarios involving clinical care in limited-resource settings

Cardiac anesthesiologist and the global capacity building to tackle rheumatic valvular heart disease

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is considered the neglected disease of the tropics and is endemic in several low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). 1 It still is an important cause of preventable morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease among children and young adults. The disease has seen a sharp decrease in most high-income countries (HIC) and primarily, the LMICs of Asia and Africa face the brunt of RHD, which also imposes huge economic burden. 2 In addition, RHD is also a significant cause of maternal mortality. 3 For precise understanding of the burden of RHD, it needs to be appreciated that LMICs are more populous (more than 5 times that of HICs) and that RHD remains the single most common cardiovascular disease in young adult and adolescent patients in need of heart surgery. 4 Furthermore, LMICs provide very different levels of cardiac surgical services for their population. There has been an impressive significant growth in the cardiac surgical capacity in middle-income countries, even so, there is a wide gap between patients in need of intervention / surgery and those who actually receive it. In addition, the diversity of health care facilities in these countries has led to availability of state-of-the art facilities to a select few (affluent) with majority (poor and under-privileged) having to rely on the overwhelmed public hospitals. The situation in the low-income countries is even worse.

Postpartum infection, pain and experiences with care among women treated for postpartum hemorrhage in three African countries: A cohort study of women managed with and without condom-catheter uterine balloon tamponade

Abstract
Objective
We aimed to determine the risk of postpartum infection and increased pain associated with use of condom-catheter uterine balloon tamponade (UBT) among women diagnosed with postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) in three low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We also sought women’s opinions on their overall experience of PPH care.

Methods
This prospective cohort study compared women diagnosed with PPH who received and did not receive UBT (UBT group and no-UBT group, respectively) at 18 secondary level hospitals in Uganda, Egypt, and Senegal that participated in a stepped wedge, cluster-randomized trial assessing UBT introduction. Key outcomes were reported pain (on a scale 0–10) in the immediate postpartum period and receipt of antibiotics within four weeks postpartum (a proxy for postpartum infection). Outcomes related to satisfaction with care and aspects women liked most and least about PPH care were also reported.

Results
Among women diagnosed with PPH, 58 were in the UBT group and 2188 in the no-UBT group. Self-reported, post-discharge antibiotic use within four weeks postpartum was similar in the UBT (3/58, 5.6%) and no-UBT groups (100/2188, 4.6%, risk ratio = 1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.45–3.35). A high postpartum pain score of 8–10 was more common among women in the UBT group (17/46, 37.0%) than in the no-UBT group (360/1805, 19.9%, relative risk ratio = 3.64, 95% CI:1.30–10.16). Most women were satisfied with their care (1935/2325, 83.2%). When asked what they liked least about care, the most common responses were that medications (580/1511, 38.4%) and medical supplies (503/1511, 33.3%) were unavailable.

Conclusion
UBT did not increase the risk of postpartum infection among this population. Women who receive UBT may experience higher degrees of pain compared to women who do not receive UBT. Women’s satisfaction with their care and stockouts of medications and other supplies deserve greater attention when introducing new technologies like UBT.

Surgical residents’ opinions on international surgical residency in Flanders, Belgium

Background
International electives benefit training of medical residents due to exposure to an increased scope of pathologies, improved physical examination skills, communication across cultural boundaries and more efficient resource utilization. Currently there is no mechanism for Belgian surgical residents to participate in international training opportunities and little research has addressed the international mobility of Belgian residents. The goal of this study was to examine the attitudes of Belgian residents towards international training among surgical residents.

Methods
An anonymous, structured electronic questionnaire was sent to a cohort of Belgian residents, including surgical residents, by e-mail and social media.

Results
In total, 342 respondents filled out the questionnaire out of a total of 5906 Belgian residents. The results showed that 334 of the residents came from Flanders (10.8%) and 8 came from French-speaking Brussels and Wallonia (0.28%). Surgical specialties represented 46% of respondents and included surgical, obstetric and anaesthesiology residents. The majority (98%) were interested in an international rotation, both in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in high-income countries. A total of 84% were willing to conduct an international rotation during holidays and 91% would participate even when their international stay would not be recognised as part of their residency training. A minority (38%) had undertaken an international rotation in the past and, of those, 5% went to an LMIC.

Conclusion
The majority of surgical residents consider an international rotation as educationally beneficial, even though they are rarely undertaken. Our survey shows that in order to facilitate foreign rotations, Flemish universities and governmental institutions will have to alleviate the regulatory, logistical and financial constraints.

Regional anesthesia educational material utilization varies by World Bank income category: A mobile health application data study

Introduction
Regional anesthesia offers an alternative to general anesthesia and may be advantageous in low resource environments. There is a paucity of data regarding the practice of regional anesthesia in low- and middle-income countries. Using access data from a free Android app with curated regional anesthesia learning modules, we aimed to estimate global interest in regional anesthesia and potential applications to clinical practice stratified by World Bank income level.

Methods
We retrospectively analyzed data collected from the free Android app “Anesthesiologist” from December 2015 to April 2020. The app performs basic anesthetic calculations and provides links to videos on performing 12 different nerve blocks. Users of the app were classified on the basis of whether or not they had accessed the links. Nerve blocks were also classified according to major use (surgical block, postoperative pain adjunct, rescue block).

Results
Practitioners in low- and middle-income countries accessed the app more frequently than in high-income countries as measured by clicks. Users from low- and middle-income countries focused mainly on surgical blocks: ankle, axillary, infraclavicular, interscalene, and supraclavicular blocks. In high-income countries, more users viewed postoperative pain blocks: adductor canal, popliteal, femoral, and transverse abdominis plane blocks. Utilization of the app was constant over time with a general decline with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion
The use of an in app survey and analytics can help identify gaps and opportunities for regional anesthesia techniques and practices. This is especially impactful in limited-resource areas, such as lower-income environments and can lead to targeted educational initiatives.

Distance-Learning Initiatives Targeting Non-physician Anesthesia Providers in Low-Resource Environments

Abstract
Purpose of Review
“Distance-learning” encompasses a variety of didactics, from self-directed online learning to focused courses and programs. Despite increasing internet availability, focused distance-learning courses are rarely practiced in low- or middle-income countries, particularly among non-physician anesthetists. This review aims to discuss the availability, significance, and challenges of distance-learning programs for non-physician anesthesia providers in low-resource settings.

Recent Findings
Task shifting and sharing in anesthesia remains essential in low-resource settings to meet the demand of surgical need. Distance-learning may be the ideal option in these settings, as it can be used to train the individual at their workplace even in remote areas. Different models and techniques are described. Success depends on the course design, communication strategies, handling of technical issues, and support mechanisms.

Summary
Distance-learning should be an essential part of training and in-service support for non-physician anesthetists. Global advocates of safe, effective anesthesia services need to support the development and delivery of distance-learning courses.

Estimation of the National Surgical Needs in India by Enumerating the Surgical Procedures in an Urban Community Under Universal Health Coverage

Background
11% of the global burden of disease requires surgical care or anaesthesia management or both. Some studies have estimated this burden to be as high as 30%. The Lancet Commission for Global Surgery (LCoGS) estimated that 5000 surgeries are required to meet the surgical burden of disease for 100,000 people in LMICs. Studies from LMICs, estimating surgical burden based on enumeration of surgeries, are sparse.

Method
We performed this study in an urban population availing employees’ heath scheme in Mumbai, India. Surgical procedures performed in 2017 and 2018, under this free and equitable health scheme, were enumerated. We estimated the surgical needs for national population, based on age and sex distribution of surgeries and age standardization from our cohort.

Result
A total of 4642 surgeries were performed per year for a population of 88,273. Cataract (22.8%), Caesareans (3.8%), surgeries for fractures (3.27%) and hernia (2.86%) were the commonest surgeries. 44.2% of surgeries belonged to the essential surgeries. We estimated 3646 surgeries would be required per 100,000 Indian population per year. One-third of these surgeries would be needed for the age group 30–49 years, in the Indian population.

Conclusion
A total of 3646 surgeries were estimated annually to meet the surgical needs of Indian population as compared to the global estimate of 5000 surgeries per 100,000 people. Caesarean section, cataract, surgeries for fractures and hernia are the major contributors to the surgical needs. More enumeration-based studies are needed for better estimates from rural as well as other urban areas.

A Situational Analysis of the Specialist Anaesthesia Workforce of East, Central and Southern Africa

Background: An accurate account of the distribution of qualied anaesthesiologists in East, Central and Southern Africa has been lacking with most of the current publications being estimates of headline gures. As university training programmes, and more recently the College of Anaesthesiologists of East, Central and Southern Africa (CANECSA), work to scale up the anaesthesiology workforce, it is crucial to understand the scope of the need by carrying out an extensive survey. This is key to informing policymakers and stakeholders for tackling the problem of human resources for anaesthesia.

Methods: The anaesthesiologist distribution in the eight CANECSA member countries was determined using a combination existing databases and collection of new data from sources such as CANECSA records, national medical council registers, national anaesthesiology society records, as well as data validation through direct and indirect contact with the anaesthesiologists. Data collation and analysis was performed using Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets and SPSS by assessing relevant frequencies and crosstabulations. Data was stored in a cloud-based database managed by CANECSA.

Results: 411 qualified anaesthesiologists were identied within the CANECSA member countries, a rate of 0.21 anaesthesiologists per 100,000 population compared to 333 (0.17 anaesthesiologists per 100,000 population) reported by the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiology (WFSA) in 2015/2016. Newly quantified details on the distribution of anesthesiologists in the region include: the majority (89.5%) of anaesthesiologists perform clinical work and most (69.3%) are based in the main commercial cities of their countries of practice; only about one third (35.5%) are female; the majority are employed by government institutions (61.6%) and medical-training institutions (59.4%); and almost half (49.2%) of anaesthesiologists whose age was recorded ranged from 30 to 39 years.

Conclusion: The numbers of anaesthesiologists in CANECSA member countries are still far below all international recommendations constituting only about 5% of the minimum recommended figures for LMICs. Anaesthesiologist are highly concentrated in the major cities of the region, with few in provincial and rural areas. Nonetheless, all trends suggest huge opportunities for advancing training of more
anaesthesiologists through collaborative efforts.

Point-of-Care Ultrasound: Applications in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Purpose of Review
This review highlights the applications of point-of-care ultrasound in low- and middle-income countries and shows the diversity of ultrasound in the diagnosis and management of patients.

Recent Findings
There is a paucity of data on point-of-care ultrasound in anesthesiology in low- and middle-income countries. However, research has shown that point-of-care ultrasound can effectively help manage infectious diseases, as well as abdominal and pulmonary pathologies.

Summary
Point-of-care ultrasound is a low-cost imaging modality that can be used for the diagnosis and management of diseases that affect low- and middle-income countries. There is limited data on the use of ultrasound in anesthesiology, which provides clinicians and researchers opportunity to study its use during the perioperative period.

Efficacy of Trans-abdominis Plane Block for Post Cesarean Delivery Analgesia in Low-income Countries: a Phase Three Feasibility Study.

Background: Optimal pain control in a parturient woman undergoing caesarean section is essential for preventing complications such as venous thrombo-embolism and improving maternal satisfaction, early
functional recovery, mother-baby bond and breastfeeding. Intentional pain assessment and adequate management to acceptable pain severity using multimodal methods can be achieved in low-middle
income countries (LMICs).

Aim: Is to assess the efficacy of transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block and satisfaction post-cesarean delivery analgesia at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Low-Income countries.
Methods: The study population consisted of 72 participants who met criteria posted for elective and emergency caesarean section. They were blindly assigned into two groups: group A was the interventional group which received TAP block and standard pain management according to local protocols and consisted of 41 participants and group B was the control group which received standard pain management without TAP block and consisted of 31 participants. In Group A 30ml of 0.25% bupivacaine single shot was deposited in the TAP plane bilaterally for postoperative analgesia. Participants were randomized using a parallel method. Their demographics were recorded before surgery and visual analogue scale was used to assess postoperative pain at rest and on movement, and maternal satisfaction at 0hrs, 6hrs, 12hrs and 24hrs.
Results: Total of 72 patients were analyzed using NRS with pain score at 0hr, 6hr and 12hr was significantly low by about 50% in Intervened group as compared to control group with (p-value (2 tail) of <0.001 however at 24 hrs. was 0.272. Participant in group A had extra movements at 0hr, 6hrs and 12hrs with p-value <0.001 as compare to control cut had no significant difference when coughing. Maternal
satisfaction with pain management was 95.1% with no reported adverse event.

Conclusions: Trans Abdominis Plane block when used as part of multimodal pain management is more effective in managing post-cesarean pain resulting in less physical limitation and high maternal satisfaction.