Patterns of injuries among Children visiting Gondar town public health institutes, Northwest Ethiopia, 2019

Background: Injuries have been recognized as the leading cause of death in children for nearly 40 years. However, most epidemiological studies of injuries have not been community-based and are limited either to a single type of injury, such as head injuries or burnsor to a specific cause of injury, such as consumer products.

Objective: To determine patterns of injuries among children visiting Gondar town public health institutes, Northwest Ethiopia,2019.

Methods: An institutional-based prospective cross-sectional study was conductedamong children visiting Gondar town public health institutes of Amhara region, Northwest Ethiopia from June 25 to September 25, 2019. A total of 385 participants were included in the study. Data were entered into Epi-info version 7.2.1 and exported to SPSS version 21.0 for analysis and descriptive statistics were presented in text, tables, charts, and graphs.

Result: The majority of the pediatric trauma cases were seen in males 61.8%, (n = 238) and females comprised only 38.2% (n = 147). Stone or stick injury (29.1%) was the most common mode of trauma followed by road traffic injuries (21.0%), falls (19.0%), and burns (14.0%). The majority of injuries happened during playing (53%) and around the home (37.9%). In this study the three top most frequent sites of injuries were: lower extremity injury 167 (43.4%), upper extremity127 (33.0%), and head injury 50 (13.0%).

Conclusion and recommendation: The high rate of pediatric trauma from sticks or stones, roadways, and falls highlights the need for increased supervision and identification of specific dangers when playing. In our scenario, a comprehensive trauma registry appears to be critical for developing policies to lessen the burden of pediatric trauma. Further research with large sample size and associated factors for pediatric injuries is recommended.

Predictors and management outcomes of perforated appendicitis in sub-Saharan African countries: A retrospective cohort study

Previous studies have found an association between various predictors and perforated appendicitis. However, there is limited evidence of studies determining the severity of acute appendicitis (AA) in resource-limited settings. Thus, this study aimed to identify predictors and outcomes of perforated appendicitis (PA) in sub-Saharan countries.

This is a retrospective cohort study of 298 adult patients who underwent surgical intervention for acute appendicitis. Demographic characteristics, clinical parameters, intraoperative findings, length of hospital stay, and postoperative complications were collected. We computed multivariate logistic regression to identify predictors of PA. P-value 38 °C (AOR = 4.569; 95% CI (2.249–9.282), and duration of symptoms >2 days (AOR = 2.704; 95% CI (1.400–5.222). Perforation was associated with an increased rate of postoperative complications (45.07vs. 6.41%; P 38 °C were the best predictors of PA. The overall total postoperative complications and the length of hospital stays were higher in PA. Based on our findings, we recommend that the identified predictors should be considered during the preoperative diagnosis and subsequent management.

Compliance with the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist and related postoperative outcomes: a nationwide survey among 172 health facilities in Ethiopia

Ministry of Health (MOH) of Ethiopia adopted World Health Organization’s evidence-proven surgical safety checklist (SSC) to reduce the occurrence of surgical complications, i.e., death, disability and prolong hospitalization. MOH commissioned this evaluation to learn about SSC completeness and compliance, and its effect on magnitude of surgical complications.

Health institution-based cross-sectional study with retrospective surgical chart audit was used to evaluate SSC utilization in 172 public and private health facilities in Ethiopia, December 2020–May 2021. A total of 1720 major emergency and elective surgeries in 172 (140 public and 32 private) facilities were recruited for chart review by an experienced team of surgical clinicians. A pre-tested tool was used to abstract data from patient charts and national database. Analyzed descriptive, univariable and bivariable data using Stata version-15 statistical software.

In 172 public and private health facilities across Ethiopia, 1603 of 1720 (93.2%) patient charts were audited; representations of public and private facilities were 81.4% (n = 140) and 18.6% (n = 32), respectively. Of surgeries that utilized SSC (67.6%, 1083 of 1603), the proportion of SSC that were filled completely and correctly were 60.8% (659 of 1083). Surgeries compliant to SSC guide achieved a statistically significant reduction in perioperative mortality (P = 0.002) and anesthesia adverse events (P = 0.005), but not in Surgical Site Infection (P = 0.086). Non-compliant surgeries neither utilized SSC nor completed the SSC correctly, 58.9% (944 of 1603).

Surgeries that adhered to the SSC achieved a statistically significant reduction in perioperative complications, including mortality. Disappointingly, a significant number of surgeries (58.9%) failed to adhere to SSC, a missed opportunity for reducing complications.

The Effect and Feasibility of mHealth-Supported Surgical Site Infection Diagnosis by Community Health Workers After Cesarean Section in Rural Rwanda: Randomized Controlled Trial

The development of a surgical site infection (SSI) after cesarean section (c-section) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries, including Rwanda. Rwanda relies on a robust community health worker (CHW)–led, home-based paradigm for delivering follow-up care for women after childbirth. However, this program does not currently include postoperative care for women after c-section, such as SSI screenings.

This trial assesses whether CHW’s use of a mobile health (mHealth)–facilitated checklist administered in person or via phone call improved rates of return to care among women who develop an SSI following c-section at a rural Rwandan district hospital. A secondary objective was to assess the feasibility of implementing the CHW-led mHealth intervention in this rural district.

A total of 1025 women aged ≥18 years who underwent a c-section between November 2017 and September 2018 at Kirehe District Hospital were randomized into the three following postoperative care arms: (1) home visit intervention (n=335, 32.7%), (2) phone call intervention (n=334, 32.6%), and (3) standard of care (n=356, 34.7%). A CHW-led, mHealth-supported SSI diagnostic protocol was delivered in the two intervention arms, while patients in the standard of care arm were instructed to adhere to routine health center follow-up. We assessed intervention completion in each intervention arm and used logistic regression to assess the odds of returning to care.

The majority of women in Arm 1 (n=295, 88.1%) and Arm 2 (n=226, 67.7%) returned to care and were assessed for an SSI at their local health clinic. There were no significant differences in the rates of returning to clinic within 30 days (P=.21), with high rates found consistently across all three arms (Arm 1: 99.7%, Arm 2: 98.4%, and Arm 3: 99.7%, respectively).

Home-based post–c-section follow-up is feasible in rural Africa when performed by mHealth-supported CHWs. In this study, we found no difference in return to care rates between the intervention arms and standard of care. However, given our previous study findings describing the significant patient-incurred financial burden posed by traveling to a health center, we believe this intervention has the potential to reduce this burden by limiting patient travel to the health center when an SSI is ruled out at home. Further studies are needed (1) to determine the acceptability of this intervention by CHWs and patients as a new standard of care after c-section and (2) to assess whether an app supplementing the mHealth screening checklist with image-based machine learning could improve CHW diagnostic accuracy.

Spatial clustering of maternal health services utilization and its associated factors in Tanzania: Evidence from 2015/2016 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey

Background: Utilization of maternal health services is the most significant component of safe motherhood, with severe effects on mother and child health. Though early and timely utilization of maternal health care services is recommended, many women do not access them. This study is aimed at examining the spatial clustering of maternal health services utilization and its associated socio-economic factors in Tanzania.

Methods: The secondary data analysis was conducted using Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey (TDHS-MIS) 2015-16. Spatial clusters of high and low use of maternal health care were detected using the Bernoulli model implemented in SaTScan™ software. The multiple logistic regression model was used to identify the predictors of maternal health services utilization in Tanzania.

Results: The Spatial analysis revealed that antenatal care and delivery care are heterogeneous across regions. High utilization was detected in Eastern and East-central regions, while low utilization was detected in northern and northwest regions. Moreover, mother’s age, education level, wealth status, and several children were identified as predictors of the use of antenatal care and delivery care.

Conclusion: Results suggest spatial variation across the regions, though the data are insufficient to identify factors associated with a specific cluster. More data and analysis are needed to establish factors associated with high and low utilization of maternal health care services.

Barriers to accessing follow up care in post-hospitalized trauma patients in Moshi, Tanzania: A mixed methods study

Disproportionately high injury rates in Sub-Saharan Africa combined with limited access to care in both the acute injury phase and for injury patients requiring continued care after hospital discharge remains a challenge. We aimed to characterize barriers to transportation and access to care in a cohort of post-hospitalized injury patients in Moshi, Tanzania. This was a mixed-methods study of a prospective cohort of trauma registry patients presenting to Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center between August 2018 and January 2020. We conducted standardized patient/family surveys and in-depth interviews at a 2-week follow up visit after hospital discharge, and focus groups with healthcare providers. Quantitative results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression using R statistical software. Qualitative results were analyzed using thematic analysis through an iterative process using NVivo software. A total of 1,365 patients were enrolled in the trauma registry, with 169 patients followed up at 2 weeks. Over half of patients at follow-up, 101 (59.8%), reported challenges in traveling. The majority of patients were male (80.3%). Difficulty in traveling since injury was associated with female gender (aOR 5.85 [95% CI 1.20–33.59]) and a need for non-family members escorts for travel (aOR 7.10 [95% CI 1.43–41.66]). Those who reported assault or fall as the mechanism of injury as compared to road traffic injury and had health insurance were less likely to report challenges in traveling (aOR 0.19 [95% CI 0.03–0.90]), 0.11 [95% CI 0.01–0.61], 0.14 [95% 0.02–0.80]). Transportation barriers that emerged from qualitative data included inability to use regular means of transportation, financial challenges, physical barriers, rigid compliance to physician orders, access to healthcare, and social support barriers. Our findings demonstrate several areas to address transportation barriers for post-injury patients in Tanzania. Educational interventions such as clarification of doctors’ orders of strict bedrest, provision of vouchers to support financial challenges and alternate means of transportation given physical barriers and reliance on social support may address some of these barriers.

Quality of life among out-patients with long-term indwelling urinary catheter attending Urology Clinic at a Tertiary Hospital in Northwestern Tanzania

This study aimed to determine quality of life (QoL) among patients living with long-term indwelling urinary catheter (IUC) at home in the Northwestern Tanzania. To the best of our knowledge for the first time in Africa, we report on quality of life for patients living with a long-term IUC at home.

This was a descriptive cross‑sectional study conducted between December 2016 and September 2017. A total of 202 out-patients aged 18 years and above living with a long-term IUC were conveniently recruited. The QoL was determined using WHOQOL‑BREF tool. Quantitative data were entered into Microsoft Excel for cleaning and coding, then into STATA software version 13.0 for analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to compute means and standard deviations for numerical variables as well as frequencies for nominal and ordinal variables. Significance of association between various variables and QoL were tested using t test with equal variances. Inferential statistics applied included an independent sample’s t‑test for comparing numerical socio-demographic variables. A P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The mean score indicating good QoL according to our study is a mean score of 50 and above. The higher the score the higher the QoL.

Median age of participants was 69 (IQR 61–77) years. Majority of participants were males (195, 96.5%), married (187, 92.6%), and having primary education (116, 57.3%). Generally, the QoL was poor in all the domains: mean score for physical health being 36.67 ± 0.89, psychological 29.54 ± 0.87, social relationship 49.59 ± 1.61, and environment 26.05 ± 0.63. Married participants were slightly better under social domain 51.1 ± 1.6 than singles 31.1 ± 5.4; P-value 0.001. Those with primary education & above were slightly better in environmental domain 26.1 ± 0.7 than those with no formal education 23.5 ± 1.5; P-value 0.039.

QoL of participants with a long-term IUC in Northwestern Tanzania is generally poor in all domains. Those with primary education & above and the married were slightly better in environmental and social domains respectively. We recommend on the needs of improved social economic status and the importance of close follow up at home for the married participants living with long-term IUC.

Disparities in Access to Trauma Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Narrative Review

Purpose of Review
Sub-Saharan Africa is a diverse context with a large burden of injury and trauma-related deaths. Relative to high-income contexts, most of the region is less mature in prehospital and facility-based trauma care, education and training, and trauma care quality assurance. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes rising inequalities, both within and between countries as a deterrent to growth and development. While disparities in access to trauma care between the region and HICs are more commonly described, internal disparities are equally concerning. We performed a narrative review of internal disparities in trauma care access using a previously described conceptual model.

Recent Findings
A broad PubMed and EMBASE search from 2010 to 2021 restricted to 48 sub-Saharan African countries was performed. Records focused on disparities in access to trauma care were identified and mapped to de Jager’s four component framework. Search findings, input from contextual experts, comparisons based on other related research, and disaggregation of data helped inform the narrative. Only 21 studies were identified by formal search, with most focused on urban versus rural disparities in geographical access to trauma care. An additional 6 records were identified through citation searches and experts. Disparity in access to trauma care providers, detection of indications for trauma surgery, progression to trauma surgery, and quality care provision were thematically analyzed. No specific data on disparities in access to injury care for all four domains was available for more than half of the countries. From available data, socioeconomic status, geographical location, insurance, gender, and age were recognized disparity domains. South Africa has the most mature trauma systems. Across the region, high quality trauma care access is skewed towards the urban, insured, higher socioeconomic class adult. District hospitals are more poorly equipped and manned, and dedicated trauma centers, blood banks, and intensive care facilities are largely located within cities and in southern Africa. The largest geographical gaps in trauma care are presumably in central Africa, francophone West Africa, and conflict regions of East Africa. Disparities in trauma training opportunities, public–private disparities in provider availability, injury care provider migration, and several other factors contribute to this inequity. National trauma registries will play a role in internal inequity monitoring, and deliberate development implementation of National Surgical, Obstetrics, and Anesthesia plans will help address disparities. Human, systemic, and historical factors supporting these disparities including implicit and explicit bias must be clearly identified and addressed. Systems approaches, strategic trauma policy frameworks, and global and regional coalitions, as modelled by the Global Alliance for Care of the Injured and the Bellagio group, are key. Inequity in access can be reduced by prehospital initiatives, as used in Ghana, and community-based insurance, as modelled by Rwanda.

Sub-Saharan African countries have underdeveloped trauma systems. Consistent in the narrative is the rural-urban disparity in trauma care access and the disadvantage of the poor. Further research is needed in view of data disparity. Recognition of these disparities should drive creative equitable solutions and focused interventions, partnerships, accompaniment, and action.

Evaluation of capacity to deliver emergency obstetrics and newborn care updated midwifery and reproductive health training curricula in Kenya: Before and after study

Provision of emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) by skilled health personnel reduces maternal and newborn mortality. Pre-service diploma midwifery and clinical medicine (reproductive health) curricula in Kenya were reviewed and updated integrating the competency based EmONC curriculum. A two-part (virtual for theoretical component and face-to-face for the skills-based component) capacity building workshop for national midwifery/clinical medicine trainers of trainers to improve their capacity to implement the updated curricula and cascade it to colleagues nationwide was conducted.

This paper measured change in confidence of pre-service midwifery/clinical medicine educators to deliver the updated competency-based curricula in Kenya.

A before-after study among 51 midwifery/clinical medicine educators from 35 training colleges who participated in upskilling workshops as trainers-of-trainers for the updated curricula between September-November 2020. Assessment included self-reported confidence using a 3-point Likert scale (not confident, somewhat confident or extremely confident) in facilitating online teaching (as COVID-19 pandemic containment measure), EmONC skills teaching/demonstration; scenario/simulation teaching, small group discussions, peer review and giving effective feedback. Analysis involved test of proportions with p-values < 0.05 statistically significant. Results Educators’ confidence significantly improved in facilitating virtual teaching (46% to 70%, p = 0.0082). On the competency-based training, the confidence among educators significantly increased in facilitating EmONC skills teaching/demonstration (44% to 96%), facilitating scenario/simulation teaching (46% to 92%), facilitating small group discussions (46% to 94%), giving effective feedback (46% to 92%), and peer review and feedback (47% to 77%), p < 0.05). Conclusion The blended training improved the confidence of pre-service educators to deliver the updated midwifery/clinical medicine curricula.

Development of the anaesthesia workforce and organisation of the speciality in Uganda: a mixed-methods case study

Background: The development of modern anaesthesia practice in many low-income countries has lagged behind that of highincome countries despite early reports. Detailed descriptions of ‘surgery under anaesthesia’ in Uganda are available through Robert W. Felkin’s elaborate accounts of caesarean sections done in the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom. However, the earliest documented ‘modern’ surgical and anaesthesia procedures were performed by Sir Albert Cook and his brother Dr Jack Cook in 1897 at Mengo Hospital. Since then, anaesthesia has developed into an independent speciality with workforce development, professional bodies and a recognised practice. This study aimed to describe the development of the anaesthesia workforce and speciality since independence while sharing our experiences to benefit those countries on a similar journey.

Methods: We employed a mixed-methods approach, including surveys among anaesthesia providers, as well as key informant interviews and a workforce database review. Whenever possible, information was corroborated with written literature.

Results: There are three levels of training of anaesthesia providers in Uganda, including a Master of Medicine in anaesthesia for specialist physician providers, a Bachelor of Science in anaesthesia and a Higher Diploma in anaesthesia for non-physician providers. There are two Master of Medicine programmes, two Bachelor of Science in anaesthesia programmes and seven Higher Diploma programmes. The existing workforce consists of 68 specialists and more than 600 non-physician providers. The anaesthesia providers are organised under professional associations, namely the Association of Anesthesiologists of Uganda and the Uganda Anaesthetic Officers Association. International and regional collaborations have been critical in the development of anaesthesia in Uganda.

Conclusion: Uganda still has a low density of anaesthesia providers both in number and distribution but has established critical steps to substantially increase the workforce. These steps include three levels of training with numerous training programmes, professional bodies and partnerships. We present our experiences with different strategies, highlighting those that have failed, and suggest further recommendations on developing anaesthesia in Uganda.