Misconceptions About Traumatic Brain Injuries in Five Sub-Saharan African Countries

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) remains a significant problem in certain regions of the world but receives little attention despite its enormous burden. This discrepancy could consequently lead to various misconceptions among the general public. This study evaluated misconceptions about TBI in five African countries.

Data for this cross-sectional study were collected using the Common Misconception about Traumatic Brain Injury (CM-TBI) questionnaire, which was electronically disseminated from January 16 to February 6, 2021. Associations between the percentage of correct answers and independent variables (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics and experience with TBI) were evaluated with the ANOVA test. Additionally, answers to the question items were compared against independent variables using the Chi-Square test. A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

A total of 817 adults, 50.2% female (n=410), aged 24.3 ± 4.3 years, and majoritarily urban dwellers (94.6%, n=773) responded to the survey. They had received tertiary education (79.2%, n=647) and were from Nigeria (77.7%, n=635). Respondents had few misconceptions (mean correct answers=71.7%, 95% CI=71.0-72.4%) and the amnesia domain had the highest level of misconception (39.3%, 95% CI=37.7-40.8%). Surveyees whose friends had TBI were more knowledgeable about TBI (mean score difference=4.1%, 95% CI=1.2-6.9, P=0.01). Additionally, surveyees whose family members had experienced TBI had a better understanding of brain damage (mean score difference=5.7%, 95% CI=2.1-9.2%, P=0.002) and recovery (mean score difference=4.3%, 95% CI=0.40-8.2%, P=0.03).

This study identified some misconceptions about TBI among young adult Africans. This at-risk population should benefit from targeted education strategies to prevent TBI and reduce TBI patients' stigmatization in Africa.

Job Satisfaction and Its Determinants among Nurse Anesthetists in Clinical Practice: The Botswana Experience

Job satisfaction (JS) correlates positively with patients’ satisfaction and outcomes and employees’ well-being. In Botswana, the level of job satisfaction and its determinants among nurse anesthetists were not investigated. A cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2020 to June 2020 encompassing all nurse anesthetists in clinical practice in Botswana. A self-administered questionnaire was used that incorporated demographic data, reasons to stay on or leave their job, and a validated 20-item short form of the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire which was pretested on five of our nurse anesthetists. Percentage is used to describe the data. The independence of categorical variables was examined using chi-square or Fisher’s exact test. value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. In Botswana, a total of 76 nurse anesthetists were in clinical practice during the study period. Sixty-six (86.9%) responded to the survey. Gender distribution was even, 50.0%. The overall JS was 36.4%. Males had significantly higher JS than females, . Significantly higher job satisfaction was found in married nurse anesthetists (), expatriate nurse anesthetists (), nurse anesthetists in non-referral hospitals (), and nurse anesthetists with ≥10 years’ experience (). Nurse anesthetists were satisfied with security, social service, authority, ability utilization, and responsibility in ≥60.0% of the cases. They were not satisfied in compensation, working condition, and advancement in a similar percentage. The main reason to stay on their job was to serve the public in 68.2%. In Botswana, employers should make an effort to address the working conditions, compensation, and advancement of nurse anesthetists in clinical practice.

Provider Barriers and Facilitators of Breast Cancer Guideline-Concordant Therapy Delivery in Botswana: A Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research Analysis

Systemic treatment for breast cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is cost-effective. However, there is limited real-world data on the translation of breast cancer treatment guidelines into clinical practice in SSA. The study aimed to identify provider factors associated with adherence to breast cancer guideline-concordant care at Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) in Botswana.

The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to conduct one-on-one semi-structured interviews with breast cancer providers at PMH. Purposive sampling was used, and sample size determined by thematic saturation. Transcribed interviews were double-coded and analyzed in NVivo using an integrated analysis approach.

Forty-one providers across eight departments were interviewed. There were variations in breast cancer guidelines used. Facilitators included a strong tension for change and a government-funded comprehensive cancer care plan. Common provider and health system barriers were lack of available resources, staff shortages and poor skills retention; lack of relative priority compared to HIV/AIDS, suboptimal interdepartmental communication and lack of a clearly defined national cancer control policy. Community-level barriers included accessibility and associated transportation costs. Participants recommended the formal implementation of future guidelines that involved key stakeholders in all phases of planning and implementation, strategic government buy-in, expansion of multidisciplinary tumor boards, leveraging non-governmental and academic partnerships, and setting-up monitoring, evaluation and feedback processes.

The study identified complex, multi-level factors affecting breast cancer treatment delivery in Botswana. These results and recommendations will inform strategies to overcome specific barriers in order to promote standardized breast cancer care delivery and improve survival outcomes.

Implications for Practice
To address the increasing cancer burden in low- and middle-income countries, resource-stratified guidelines have been developed by multiple international organizations to promote high quality guideline-concordant care. However, these guidelines still require adaptation in order to be successfully translated into clinical practice in the countries where they intend to be used. This study highlights a systematic approach of evaluating important contextual factors associated with the successful adaptation and implementation of resource-stratified guidelines in sub-Saharan Africa. In Botswana, there is a critical need for local stakeholder input to inform country-level and facility-level resources, cancer care accessibility and community-level barriers and facilitators.

The characteristics and outcomes of trauma admissions to an adult general surgery ward in a tertiary teaching hospital

Traumatic injuries are proportionally higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than high-income counties. Data on trauma epidemiology and patients’ outcomes are limited in LMICs.

A retrospective review of medical records was performed for trauma admissions to the Princess Marina Hospital general surgical (GS) wards from August 2017 to July 2018. Data on demographics, mechanisms of injury, body parts injured, Revised Trauma Score, surgical procedures, hospital stay, and outcomes were analysed.

During the study period, 2610 patients were admitted to GS wards, 1307 were emergency admissions. Trauma contributed 22.1% (576) of the total and 44.1% of the emergency admissions. Among the trauma admissions, 79.3% (457) were male. The median[interquartile range(IQR)](range) age in years was 30[24–40](13–97). The main mechanisms of injury were interpersonal violence (IPV), 53.1% and road traffic crashes (RTCs), 23.1%. More females than males suffered animal bites (5.9% vs. 0.9%), and burns (8.4% vs. 4.2%), while more males than females were affected by IPV (57.8% vs. 35.3%) and self-harm (5.5% vs. 3.4%). Multiple body parts were injured in 6.6%, mainly by RTCs. Interpersonal violence (IPV) and RTCs resulted in significant numbers of head and neck injuries, 57.3% and 22.2% respectively. More females than males had multiple body-parts injury 34.5% vs. 18.5%. Revised Trauma Score (RTS) of ≤11 was recorded in IPV, 38.4% and RTCs, 33.6%. Surgical procedures were performed on 44.4% patients. The most common surgical procedures were laparotomy (27.8%), insertion of chest tube (27.8%), and craniotomy/burr hole(25.1%). Complications were recorded in 10.1% of the patients(58) including 39 deaths, 6.8% of the 576.

Trauma contributed significantly to the total GS and emergency admissions. The most common mechanism of injury was IPV with head and neck the most frequently injured body part. Further studies on IPV and trauma admissions involving paediatric and orthopaedic patients are warranted.

Impact of Community-Based Clinical Breast Examinations in Botswana

We evaluated a clinical breast examination (CBE) screening program to determine the prevalence of breast abnormalities, number examined per cancer diagnosis, and clinical resources required for these diagnoses in a middle-income African setting.

We performed a retrospective review of a CBE screening program (2015-2018) by Journey of Hope Botswana, a Botswana-based nongovernmental organization (NGO). Symptomatic and asymptomatic women were invited to attend. Screening events were held in communities throughout rural and periurban Botswana, with CBEs performed by volunteer nurses. Individuals who screened positive were referred to a private tertiary facility and were followed by the NGO. Data were obtained from NGO records.

Of 6,120 screened women (50 men excluded), 452 (7.4%) presented with a symptom and 357 (5.83%) were referred for further evaluation; 257 ultrasounds, 100 fine-needle aspirations (FNAs), 58 mammograms, and 31 biopsies were performed. In total, 6,031 were exonerated from cancer, 78 were lost to follow-up (67 for ≤ 50 years and 11 for > 50 years), and 11 were diagnosed with cancer (five for 41-50 years and six for > 50 years, 10 presented with symptoms). Overall breast cancer prevalence was calculated to be 18/10,000 (95% CI, 8 to 29/10,000). The number of women examined per breast cancer diagnosis was 237 (95% CI, 126 to 1910) for women of age 41-50 years and 196 (95% CI, 109 to 977) for women of age > 50 years. Median time to diagnosis for all women was 17.5 [1 to 32.5] days. CBE-detected tumors were not different than tumors presenting through standard care.

In a previously unscreened population, yield from community-based CBE screening was high, particularly among symptomatic women, and required modest diagnostic resources. This strategy has potential to reduce breast cancer mortality.

Evaluation of Resources Necessary for Provision of Trauma Care in Botswana: An Initiative for a Local System.

Developing countries face the highest incidence of trauma, and on the other hand, they do not have resources for mitigating the scourge of these injuries. The World Health Organization through the Essential Trauma Care (ETC) project provides recommendations for improving management of the injured and building up of systems that are effective in low-middle-income countries (LMICs). This study uses ETC project recommendations and other trauma-care guidelines to evaluate the current status of the resources and organizational structures necessary for optimal trauma care in Botswana; an African country with relatively good health facilities network, subsidized public hospital care and a functioning Motor Vehicle Accident fund covering road traffic collision victims.A cross-sectional descriptive design employed convenience sampling for recruiting high-volume trauma hospitals and selecting candidates. A questionnaire, checklist, and physical verification of resources were utilized to evaluate resources, staff knowledge, and organization-of-care and hospital capabilities. Results are provided in plain descriptive language to demonstrate the findings.Necessary consumables, good infrastructure, adequate numbers of personnel and rehabilitation services were identified all meeting or exceeding ETC recommendations. Deficiencies were noted in staff knowledge of initial trauma care, district hospital capability to provide essential surgery, and the organization of trauma care.The good level of resources available in Botswana may be used to improve trauma care: To further this process, more empowering of high-volume trauma hospitals by adopting trauma-care recommendations and inclusive trauma-system approaches are desirable. The use of successful examples on enhanced surgical skills and capabilities, effective trauma-care resource management, and leadership should be encouraged.