Diagnosis and management of 365 ureteric injuries following obstetric and gynecologic surgery in resource-limited settings.

Ureteric injuries are among the most serious complications of pelvic surgery. The incidence in low-resource settings is not well documented.This retrospective review analyzes a cohort of 365 ureteric injuries with ureterovaginal fistulas in 353 women following obstetric and gynecologic operations in 11 countries in Africa and Asia, all low-resource settings. The patients with ureteric injury were stratified into three groups according to the initial surgery: (a) obstetric operations, (b) gynecologic operations, and (c) vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) repairs.The 365 ureteric injuries in this series comprise 246 (67.4%) after obstetric procedures, 65 (17.8%) after gynecologic procedures, and 54 (14.8%) after repair of obstetric fistulas. Demographic characteristics show clear differences between women with iatrogenic injuries and women with obstetric fistulas. The study describes abdominal ureter reimplantation and other treatment procedures. Overall surgical results were good: 92.9% of women were cured (326/351), 5.4% were healed with some residual incontinence (19/351), and six failed (1.7%).Ureteric injuries after obstetric and gynecologic operations are not uncommon. Unlike in high-resource contexts, in low-resource settings obstetric procedures are most often associated with urogenital fistula. Despite resource limitations, diagnosis and treatment of ureteric injuries is possible, with good success rates. Training must emphasize optimal surgical techniques and different approaches to assisted vaginal delivery.

Essential fracture and orthopaedic equipment lists in low resource settings in Africa.

Low/middle-income countries (LMICs) have a growing need for trauma and orthopaedic (T&O) surgical interventions but lack surgical resources. Part of this is due to the high amount of road traffic accidents in LMICs. We aimed to develop recommendations for an essential list of equipment for three different levels of care providers.The Delphi method was used to achieve consensus on essential and desirable T&O equipment for LMICs. Twenty experts with T&O experience from LMICs underwent two rounds of questionnaires. Feedback was given after each round of questionnaires. The first round of questionnaire consisted of 45 items graded on a Likert scale with the second round consisting of 50 items. We used an electronic questionnaire to collect our data for three different levels of care: non-operative-based provider, specialist provider with operative fracture care and tertiary provider with operative fracture care and orthopaedics.After two rounds of questionnaires, recommendations for each level of care in LMICs included 4 essential equipment items for non-operative-based providers; 27 essential equipment items for specialist providers with operative fracture care and 46 essential equipment items for tertiary providers with operative fracture care and orthopaedic care.These recommendations can facilitate in planning of appropriate equipment required in an institution which in turn has the potential to improve the capacity and quality of T&O care in LMICs. The essential equipment lists provided here can help direct where funding for equipment should be targeted. Our recommendations can help with planning and organising national T&O care in LMICs to achieve appropriate capacity at all relevant levels of care.

Postoperative Airway Obstruction in a Low Resource Setting: A Case Report.

A 2-month-old girl with abnormal facial features and malnutrition presented for placement of a gastrostomy tube. The surgery was performed under general anesthesia using a laryngeal mask airway (LMA); however, after removal of the LMA, the patient had recurrent airway collapse, requiring repeated insertion of the LMA. The authors describe the management of this problem with the use of a tongue suture and anterior traction in the postoperative period in a resource-limited setting.

Early detection and treatment strategies for breast cancer in low-income and upper middle-income countries: a modelling study.

Poor breast cancer survival in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) can be attributed to advanced-stage presentation and poor access to systemic therapy. We aimed to estimate the outcomes of different early detection strategies in combination with systemic chemotherapy and endocrine therapy in LMICs.We adapted a microsimulation model to project outcomes of three early detection strategies alone or in combination with three systemic treatment programmes beyond standard of care (programme A): programme B was endocrine therapy for all oestrogen-receptor (ER)-positive cases; programme C was programme B plus chemotherapy for ER-negative cases; programme D was programme C plus chemotherapy for advanced ER-positive cases. The main outcomes were reductions in breast cancer-related mortality and lives saved per 100 000 women relative to the standard of care for women aged 30-49 years in a low-income setting (East Africa; using incidence data and life tables from Uganda and data on tumour characteristics from various East African countries) and for women aged 50-69 years in a middle-income setting (Colombia).In the East African setting, relative mortality reductions were 8-41%, corresponding to 23 (95% uncertainty interval -12 to 49) to 114 (80 to 138) lives saved per 100 000 women over 10 years. In Colombia, mortality reductions were 7-25%, corresponding to 32 (-29 to 70) to 105 (61 to 141) lives saved per 100 000 women over 10 years.The best projected outcomes were in settings where access to both early detection and adjuvant therapy is improved. Even in the absence of mammographic screening, improvements in detection can provide substantial benefit in settings where advanced-stage presentation is common.Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington Cancer Consortium Cancer Center Support Grant of the US National Institutes of Health.

Development of Low-Cost Locally Sourced Two-Component Compression Bandages in Western Kenya.

Compression therapy is well-established standard of care for chronic leg ulcers from venous disease and lymphedema. Chronic leg ulcers and lymphedema have a significant impact on quality of life, driven by pain, foul odor, and restricted mobility. Provision of layered compression therapy in resource-limited settings, as in Western Kenya and other regions of sub-Saharan Africa, is a major challenge due to several barriers: availability, affordability, and access to healthcare facilities. When wound care providers from an Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) health center in Western Kenya noted that a donated, finite supply of two-component compression bandages was helping to heal chronic leg ulcers, they began to explore the potential of finding a local, sustainable solution. Dermatology and pharmacy teams from AMPATH collaborated with health center providers to address this need.Following a literature review and examination of ingredients in prepackaged brand-name kits, essential components were identified: elastic crepe, gauze, and zinc oxide paste. All of these materials are locally available and routinely used for wound care. Two-component compression bandages were made by applying zinc oxide to dry gauze for the inner layer and using elastic crepe as the outer layer. Feedback from wound clinic providers was utilized to optimize the compression bandages for ease of use.Adjustments to assembly of the paste bandage included use of zinc oxide paste instead of zinc oxide ointment for easier gauze impregnation and cutting the inner layer gauze in half lengthwise to facilitate easier bandaging of the leg, such that there were two rolls of zinc-impregnated gauze each measuring 5 inches × 2 m. Adjustments to use of the compression bandage have included increasing the frequency of bandage changes from 7 to 3 days during the rainy seasons, when it is difficult to keep the bandage dry. Continuous local acquisition of all components led to lower price quotes for bulk materials, driving down the production cost and enabling a cost to the patient of 200 KSh (2 USD) per two-component compression bandage kit. Wound care providers have provided anecdotal reports of healed chronic leg ulcers (from venous stasis, trauma), improved lymphedema, and patient tolerance of compression.Low-cost locally sourced two-component compression bandages have been developed for use in Western Kenya. Their use has been initiated at an AMPATH health center and is poised to meet the need for affordable compression therapy options in Western Kenya. Studies evaluating their efficacy in chronic leg ulcers and Kaposi sarcoma lymphedema are ongoing. Future work should address adaptation of compression bandages for optimal use in Western Kenya and evaluate reproducibility of these bandages in similar settings, as well as consider home- or community-based care delivery models to mitigate transportation costs associated with accessing healthcare facilities.

Renal Outcomes in Children with Operated Spina Bifida in Uganda.

To describe the extent of renal disease in Ugandan children surviving at least ten years after spina bifida repair and to investigate risk factors for renal deterioration in this cohort.Children who had undergone spina bifida repair at CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda between 2000 and 2004 were invited to attend interview, physical examination, renal tract ultrasound, and a blood test (creatinine). Medical records were retrospectively reviewed. The following were considered evidence of renal damage: elevated creatinine, hypertension, and ultrasound findings of hydronephrosis, scarring, and discrepancy in renal size >1cm. Female sex, previous UTI, neurological level, mobility, detrusor leak point pressure, and adherence with clean intermittent catheterisation (CIC) were investigated for association with evidence of renal damage.65 of 68 children aged 10-14 completed the assessment. The majority (83%) reported incontinence. 17 children (26%) were performing CIC. One child had elevated creatinine. 25 children (38%) were hypertensive. There was a high prevalence of ultrasound abnormalities: hydronephrosis in 10 children (15%), scarring in 42 (64%), and >1cm size discrepancy in 28 (43%). No children with lesions at S1 or below had hydronephrosis (p = 0.025), but this group had comparable prevalence of renal size discrepancy, scarring, and hypertension to those children with higher lesions.Incontinence, ultrasound abnormalities, and hypertension are highly prevalent in a cohort of Ugandan children with spina bifida, including those with low neurological lesions. These findings support the early and universal initiation of CIC with anticholinergic therapy in a low-income setting.

Estimating the Cost of Neurosurgical Procedures in a Low-Income Setting: An Observational Economic Analysis

BACKGROUND: There are no data on cost of neurosurgery in low-income and middle-income countries. The objective of this study was to estimate the cost of neurosurgical procedures in a low-resource setting to better inform resource allocation and health sector planning.
METHODS: In this observational economic analysis, microcosting was used to estimate the direct and indirect costs of neurosurgical procedures at Mulago National Referral Hospital (Kampala, Uganda).
RESULTS: During the study period, October 2014 to September 2015, 1440 charts were reviewed. Of these patients, 434 had surgery, whereas the other 1006 were treated nonsurgically. Thirteen types of procedures were performed at the hospital. The estimated mean cost of a neurosurgical procedure was $542.14 (standard deviation [SD], $253.62). The mean cost of different procedures ranged from $291 (SD, $101) for burr hole evacuations to $1,221 (SD, $473) for excision of brain tumors. For most surgeries, overhead costs represented the largest proportion of the total cost (29%e41%).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study using primary data to determine the cost of neurosurgery in a low-resource setting. Operating theater capacity is likely the binding constraint on operative volume, and thus, investing in operating theaters should achieve a higher level of efficiency. Findings from this study could be used by stakeholders and policy makers for resource allocation and to perform economic analyses to establish the value of neurosurgery in achieving global health goals.

Hospital Mortality FollowingTrauma: An Analysis of a Hospital-Based Injury Surveillance Registry in sub-SaharanAfrica

IMPORTANCE: Injuries are a significant cause of death and disability, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Health care systems in resource-poor countries lack personnel and are ill equipped to treat severely injured patients; therefore, many injury related deaths occur after hospital admission.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluates the mortality for hospitalized trauma patients at a tertiary care hospital in Malawi.
DESIGN: This study is a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected trauma surveillance data. We performed univariate and bivariate analyses to describe the population and logistic regression analysis to identify predictors of mortality.
SETTING: Tertiary care hospital in sub-Saharan Africa.
PARTICIPANT: Patients with traumatic injuries admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital between January 2010 and December 2012.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Predictors of in-hospital mortality.
RESULTS: The study population consisted of 7559 patients, with an average age of 27 years (18 years) and a male predominance of 76%. Road traffic injuries, falls, and assaults were the most common causes of injury. The overall mortality was 4.2%. After adjusting for age, sex, type and mechanism of injury, and shock index, head/spine injuries had the highest odds of mortality, with an odds ratio of 5.80 (2.71-12.40).
CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE: The burden of injuries in sub-Saharan Africa remains high. At this institution, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of injury and injury-related death. The most significant predictor of in-hospital mortality is the presence of head or spinal injury. These findings may be mitigated by a comprehensive injury-prevention effort targeting drivers and other road users and by increased attention and resources dedicated to the treatment of patients with head and/or spine injuries in the hospital setting.

Barriers to Neurosurgical Training in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Need for a Phased Approach to Global Surgery Efforts to Improve Neurosurgical Care

BACKGROUND: Neurosurgery in low-income countries is faced with multiple challenges. Although the most common challenges include infrastructure and physical resource deficits, an underemphasized barrier relates to the methods and components of surgical training. The role of important aspects, including didactic surgical training, surgical decision-making, workshops, conferences, and assessment methods, has not been duly studied. Knowledge of these issues is a crucial step to move closer to strengthening surgical capacity in low-income countries.
METHODS: We designed an online survey to assess self-perceived and objectively measured barriers to neurosurgical training in various Sub-Saharan African countries. Key outcomes included perception toward adequacy of neurosurgery training and barriers to neurosurgical training at each individual site.
RESULTS: Only 37% of responders felt that their training program adequately prepared them for handling incoming neurosurgical cases. Top perceived limitations of neurosurgery training included lack of physical resources (25% of all responses), lack of practical workshops (22%), lack of program structure (18%), and lack of topic-specific lectures (10%).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that most responders believe their training program is inadequate and are interested in improving it through international collaborations. This implies that activities directed at strengthening surgical capacity must address this important necessity. One important strategy is the use of online educational tools. In consideration of the observed limitations in care, resources, and training, we recommend a phased approach to neurosurgical growth in low-income settings.

Building neurosurgical capacity in low and middle income countries

Neurosurgery capacity in low- and middle-income countries is far from adequate; yet burden of neurological diseases, especially neuro-trauma, is projected to increase exponentially. Previous efforts to build neurosurgical capacity have typically been individual projects and short termmissions. Recognizing the dual needs of addressing disease burden and building sustainable, long-term neurosurgical care capacity, we describe in this paper an ongoing collaboration between the Mulago Hospital Department of Neurosurgery (Kampala, Uganda) and Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC, USA) as a replicable model to meet the dual needs. The collaboration employs a threefold approach to building capacity: technology, twinning, and training performed together in a top-down approach. Also described are lessons learned to date by Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neurosciences (DGNN) and applicability beyond Kampala.