Bridging the know-do gap in low-income surgical environments: Creating contextually appropriate training videos to promote safer surgery in Ethiopia

Although international guidelines exist for the prevention of surgical site infections, their implementation in diverse clinical contexts, especially in low and middle-income countries, is challenging due to the lack of available resources and organizational structure of facilities. The goal of this project was to develop a series of video training aids to highlight best practices in surgical infection prevention in hospitals with limited resources and to provide practical solutions to common challenges faced in these settings.

Using the validated Clean Cut education framework for infection prevention developed by Lifebox, a charity devoted to improving surgical and anesthetic safety, we partnered with clinicians in one Ethiopian hospital to create six educational videos giving practical guidelines for infection prevention under resource variable conditions. These include: 1) proper use of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, 2) hand and skin antisepsis, 3) confirming instrument sterility, 4) maintaining the sterile field, 5) antibiotic prophylaxis, and 6) gauze counting.

Gaps in available online educational materials were identified in each of the six areas. Videos were created providing setting-specific education and addressing gaps in existing materials for each of the infection prevention topics. These videos are now integrated into infection prevention curricula through Lifebox in Ethiopia and ongoing data collection to evaluate acceptability and efficacy is ongoing.

Surgical education videos on infection prevention topics addressing location-specific resources and workarounds can be useful to hospitals operating in resource-limited settings for training staff and supporting quality and safety efforts in surgery.

Risk factors associated with acute kidney injury in a pediatric intensive care unit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Case control study

Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious problem in critically ill children. It is associated with poor treatment outcomes and a high rate of morbidity and mortality. Globally, one in three critically ill admitted children suffer from acute kidney injury. However, limited data are available in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, highlighting the risk factors related to acute kidney injury. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the risk factors associated with acute kidney injury among critically ill children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at the Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: A facility-based unmatched case-control study was carried out on 253 (85 cases and 168 controls) children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit from January 2011 to December 2021. Participants were selected using a systematic random sampling technique for the control group and all cases consecutively. Data were collected using a structured checklist. Data were entered using Epi data version 4.6 and analyzed using SPSS version 25. Multivariate analysis was carried out using the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) to identify associated factors with acute kidney injury. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: The median age of the participants was two years. About 55.6 % of cases and 53.1% of controls were females. The diagnosis of hypertension (AOR= 5.36; 95% CI: 2.06- 13.93)], shock (AOR=3.88, 95% CI: 1.85- 8.12), exposure to nephrotoxic drugs (AOR=4.09; 95% CI: 1. 45- 11.59), sepsis or infection AOR=3.36; 95% CI: 1.42-7.99), nephritic syndrome (AOR=2.97; 95% CI :1.19, 7.43), and mechanical ventilation AOR=2.25, 95% CI: 1.12, 4.51) were significantly associated with acute kidney injury.

Conclusion: In this study, the diagnosis of sepsis or infection, hypertension, shock, nephrotoxic drugs, demand for mechanical ventilation support, and nephritic syndrome increased the risk of AKI among critically ill children. Multiple risk factors for AKI are associated with illness and its severity. All measures that ensure adequate renal perfusion must be taken in children with identified risk factors to avoid the development of AKI.

Healthcare utilization by children with neurological impairments and disabilities in rural Kenya: a retrospective cohort study combined with secondary analysis of audit data

Background: There is a paucity of data on healthcare utilization by children with neurological impairments (NI) in sub-Saharan Africa. We determined the rate, risk factors, causes, and outcomes of hospital admission and utilization patterns for rehabilitative care among children with NI in a defined rural area in Kenya.
Methods: We designed two sub-studies to address the primary objectives. Firstly, we retrospectively observed 251 children aged 6–9 years with NI and 2162 age-matched controls to determine the rate, causes and outcomes of hospitalization in a local referral hospital. The two cohorts were identified from an epidemiological survey conducted in 2015 in a defined geographical area. Secondly, we reviewed hospital records to characterize utilization patterns for rehabilitative care.
Results: Thirty-four in-patient admissions occurred in 8503 person-years of observation (PYO), yielding a crude rate of 400 admissions per 100 000 PYO (95% confidence interval (Cl): 286–560). The risk of admission was similar between cases and controls (rate ratio=0.70, 95%CI: 0.10–2.30, p = 0.31). The presence of electricity in the household was associated with reduced odds of admission (odds ratio=0.32, 95% Cl: 0.10–0.90, p < 0.01). Seizures and malaria were the main causes of admission. We confirmed six (0.3%) deaths during the follow-up period. Over 93% of outpatient paediatric visits for rehabilitative care were related to cerebral palsy and intellectual developmental delay. Health education (87%), rehabilitative exercises (79%) and assistive technology (64%) were the most common interventions. Conclusions: Surprisingly, the risk of hospitalization was not different between children with NI and those without, possibly because those with severe NI who died before this follow-up were under seclusion and restraint in the community. Evidence-based and tailored rehabilitative interventions are urgently required based on the existing secondary data.

Patterns and Predictors of Timely Presentation and Outcomes of Polytrauma Patients Referred to the Emergency Department of a Tertiary Hospital in Tanzania

Background. Polytrauma patients require special facilities to care for their injuries. In HICs, these patients are rapidly transferred from the scene or the frst-health facility directly to a trauma center. However, in many LMICs, prehospital systems do not exist and there are long delays between arrivals at the frst-health facility and the trauma center. We aimed to quantify the delay and determine the predictors of mortality among polytrauma patients. Methodology. We consecutively enrolled adult polytrauma patients (≥18 years) with ISS >15 referred to the Emergency Medicine Department of Muhimbili National Hospital, a major trauma center in Tanzania between August 2019 and January 2020. Based on a pilot study, the arrival of >6 hours after injury was considered a delay. Te outcome of interest was factors associated with delayed presentation and the association of timeliness with 7-day mortality. Results. We enrolled 120 (4.5%) referred polytrauma adult patients. Te median age was 30 years (IQR 25–39) and the ISS was 29 (IQR 24–34). The majority (85%) were males. While the median time from injury to frst-health facility was 40 minutes (IQR 33–50), the median time from injury to arrival at EMD-MNH, was 377 minutes (IQR 314–469). Delayed presentation was noted in more than half (54.2%) of participants, with the odds of dying being 1.4 times higher in the delayed
group (95% CI 0.3–5.6). Having a GCS <8 (AOR 16.3 (95% CI 3.1–86.3), hypoxia <92% (AOR 8.3 (95% CI 1.4–50.9), and hypotension <90 mmHg (R 7.3 (95% CI 1.6–33.6) were all independent predictors of mortality. Conclusion. Te majority of polytrauma patients arrive at the tertiary facilities delayed for more than 6 hours and a distance of more than 8 km between facilities is associated with delay. Hypotension, hypoxia, and GCS of less than 8 are independent predictors of poor outcome. In the interim, there is a need to expedite the transfer of polytrauma patients to trauma care capable centers.

Admission Criteria of Obstetric Patients in Selected Intensive Care Units, Khartoum State, Sudan (2022)

The Obstetric admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) require special care and attention by a multidisciplinary team. Pregnancy is associated with many maternal physiological and organ changes. These changes are primarily due to production of progesterone by the corpus luteum in early pregnancy and the placenta from ten weeks. They are admitted to the ICU for close observation to detect the problems earlier, perform invasive monitoring, increase nursing care or ventilatory support or any intervention that is not available at the wards. The aim of this study was to identify the admission criteria of obstetric patients. A retrospective study was conducted in maternal hospitals, from January to December 2021.70 patients with inclusion criteria were included. The results revealed that most of the patients diagnosed with Preeclampsia25.7%, eclampsia 22.9%, not applicable for the scoring system. Data was collected using a questionnaire filled by researchers from patients’files. The study found that most common cases were admitted to ICU with pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage, the antenatal care was low, that wasn’t applicable to scoring systems at admission and most patients did not need invasive procedures or mechanical ventilation.

Healthcare Services for the Physically Challenged Persons in Africa: Challenges and Way Forward

This chapter is based on persons with physical disabilities in Africa, their challenges, and how it affects their health-seeking behaviors. We noticed that physical challenge has a substantial long-term adverse effect on one’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Both the causes and the consequences of physical disability vary throughout the world, especially in Africa. Environmental, technical, and attitudinal barriers and consequent social exclusion reduce the opportunities for physically challenged persons to contribute productively to the household and the community and further increase the risk of falling into poverty and poor healthcare services. The inability of the physically challenged persons to perceive the lack of points of interest of government has intensified to make significant recommendations and possible solutions. This is appalling because the rate to which a community provides and funds restoration is a way of grading how much interest it has, and importance it connects to the quality of life of its citizens. We advocate and recommend swift actions and disability inclusiveness to accommodate persons with physical disabilities in Africa for them to have a good perception of life.

Postoperative outcomes associated with surgical care for women in Africa: an international risk-adjusted analysis of prospective observational cohorts

Background
Improving women’s health is a critical component of the sustainable development goals. Although obstetric outcomes in Africa have received significant focus, non-obstetric surgical outcomes for women in Africa remain under-examined.

Methods
We did a secondary analysis of the African Surgical Outcomes Study (ASOS) and International Surgical Outcomes Study (ISOS), two 7-day prospective observational cohort studies of outcomes after adult inpatient surgery. This sub-study focuses specifically on the analysis of the female, elective, non-obstetric, non-gynaecological surgical data collected during these two large multicentre studies. The African data from both cohorts are compared with international (non-African) outcomes in a risk-adjusted logistic regression analysis using a generalised linear mixed-effects model. The primary outcome was severe postoperative complications including in-hospital mortality in Africa compared with non-African outcomes.

Results
A total of 1698 African participants and 18 449 international participants met the inclusion criteria. The African cohort were younger than the international cohort with a lower preoperative risk profile. Severe complications occurred in 48 (2.9%) of 1671, and 431 (2.3%) of 18 449 patients in the African and international cohorts, respectively, with in-hospital mortality after severe complications of 23/48 (47.9%) in Africa and 78/431 (18.1%) internationally. Women in Africa had an adjusted odds ratio of 2.06 (95% confidence interval, 1.17–3.62; P=0.012) of developing a severe postoperative complication after elective non-obstetric, non-gynaecological surgery, compared with the international cohort.

Conclusions
Women in Africa have double the risk adjusted odds of severe postoperative complications (including in-hospital mortality) after elective non-obstetric, non-gynaecological surgery compared with the international incidence.

Chest trauma epidemiology and emergency department management in a tertiary teaching hospital in Kigali, Rwanda

Introduction
Chest trauma is a major contributor to injury morbidity and mortality, and understanding trends is a crucial part of addressing this burden in low- and middle-income countries. This study reports the characteristics and emergency department (ED) management of chest trauma patients presenting to Rwanda’s national teaching hospital in Kigali.

Methods
This descriptive analysis included a convenience sample of patients presenting to a single tertiary hospital ED with chest trauma from June to December 2017. Demographic data were collected as well as injury mechanism, thoracic and associated injuries, types of imaging obtained, and treatments performed. Chart review was conducted seven days post-admission to follow up on outcomes and additional diagnoses and interventions. Incidences were calculated with Microsoft Excel.

Results
Among the 62 patients included in this study, 74% were male, and mean age was 35 years. Most patients were injured in road traffic crashes (RTCs) (68%). Common chest injuries included lung contusions (79% of cases), rib fractures (44%), and pneumothoraces (37%). Head trauma was a frequent concurrent extra-thoracic injury (61%). Diagnostic imaging primarily included E-FAST ultrasound (92%) and chest x-ray (98%). The most common therapies included painkillers (100%), intravenous fluids (89%), and non-invasive oxygen (63%), while 29% underwent invasive intervention in the form of thoracostomy. The majority of patients were admitted (81%). Pneumonia was the most common complication to occur in the first seven days (32% of admitted patients). Ultimately, 40% of patients were discharged home within seven days of presentation, 50% remained hospitalized, and 5% died.

Conclusion
This study on the epidemiology of chest trauma in Rwanda can guide injury prevention and medical training priorities. Efforts should target prevention in young males and those involved in RTCs. ED physicians in Rwanda need to be prepared to diagnose and treat a variety of chest injuries with invasive and noninvasive means.

Efficacy of extended focused assessment with sonography for trauma using a portable handheld device for detecting hemothorax in a low resource setting; a multicenter longitudinal study

Introduction

Chest trauma is one of the most important and commonest injuries that require timely diagnosis, accounting for 25-50% of trauma related deaths globally. Although CT scan is the gold standard for detection of haemothorax, it is only useful in stable patients, and remains unavailable in most hospitals in low income countries. Where available, it is very expensive. Sonography has been reported to have high accuracy and sensitivity in trauma diagnosis but is rarely used in trauma patients in low income settings in part due to lack of the sonography machines and lack of expertise among trauma care providers. Chest X-ray is the most available investigation for chest injuries in low income countries. However it is not often safe to wheel seriously injured, unstable trauma patients to X-ray rooms. This study aimed at determining the efficacy of extended Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (eFAST) in detection of haemothorax using thoracostomy findings as surrogate gold standard in a low resource setting.

Methods

This was an observational longitudinal study that enrolled 104 study participants with chest trauma. Informed consent was obtained from all participants. A questionnaire was administered and eFAST, chest X-ray and tube thoracotomy were done as indicated. Data were analysed using SPSS version 22. The sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, accuracy and area under the curve were determined using thoracostomy findings as the gold standard. Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the Research and Ethics Committee of Kampala International University Western Campus REC number KIU-2021-53.

Results

eFAST was found to be superior to chest X-ray with sensitivity of 96.1% versus 45.1% respectively. The accuracy was also higher for eFAST (96.4% versus 49.1%) but the specificity was the same at 100.0%. The area under the curve was higher for eFAST (0.980,P=0.001 versus 0.725, p=0.136). Combining eFAST and X-ray increased both sensitivity and accuracy.

Conclusion

This study revealed that eFAST was more sensitive at detecting haemothorax among chest trauma patients compared to chest X-ray. All patients presenting with chest trauma should have bedside eFAST for diagnosis of haemothorax.

State of African neurosurgical education: a protocol for an analysis of publicly available curricula

Background
Africa bears >15% of the global burden of neurosurgical disease. Yet to date, Africa still has the lowest neurosurgical workforce density globally, and efforts to fill this gap by 2030 need to be multiplied. Although the past decade has seen an increase in neurosurgery residency programs in the continent, it is unclear how these residency programs are similar or viable. This study aims to highlight the current status of neurosurgical training in Africa as well as the differences within departments, countries or African regions.

Methods
A literature search using keywords related to ‘neurosurgery’, ‘training’, and ‘Africa’ and relevant names of African countries will be performed on PubMed and Google Scholar. If unavailable online, the authors will contact local neurosurgeons at identified training programmes for their curricula. The residency curricula collected will be analysed against a standardized and validated medical education curriculum viability tool.

Results
The primary aim will be the description of African neurosurgical curricula. In addition, the authors will perform a comparative analysis of the identified African neurosurgical curricula using a standardized and validated medical education curriculum viability tool.

Discussion
This study will be the first to evaluate the current landscape of neurosurgery training in Africa and will highlight pertinent themes that may be used to guide further research. The findings will inform health system strengthening efforts by local training programme directors, governments, policymakers and stakeholders.Background
Africa bears >15% of the global burden of neurosurgical disease. Yet to date, Africa still has the lowest neurosurgical workforce density globally, and efforts to fill this gap by 2030 need to be multiplied. Although the past decade has seen an increase in neurosurgery residency programs in the continent, it is unclear how these residency programs are similar or viable. This study aims to highlight the current status of neurosurgical training in Africa as well as the differences within departments, countries or African regions.

Methods
A literature search using keywords related to ‘neurosurgery’, ‘training’, and ‘Africa’ and relevant names of African countries will be performed on PubMed and Google Scholar. If unavailable online, the authors will contact local neurosurgeons at identified training programmes for their curricula. The residency curricula collected will be analysed against a standardized and validated medical education curriculum viability tool.

Results
The primary aim will be the description of African neurosurgical curricula. In addition, the authors will perform a comparative analysis of the identified African neurosurgical curricula using a standardized and validated medical education curriculum viability tool.

Discussion
This study will be the first to evaluate the current landscape of neurosurgery training in Africa and will highlight pertinent themes that may be used to guide further research. The findings will inform health system strengthening efforts by local training programme directors, governments, policymakers and stakeholders.