Surgical management and outcomes of late-presenting acute limb ischaemia at 2 referral hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A 1-year prospective study

Objective: The study was performed to show the overall perspective of surgical management for acute limb ischemia specific to Ethiopian population.
Methods: A prospective planned cohort study was conducted to analyze the socio-demography, clinical presentation, causes of limb ischemia, and outcomes of surgical intervention, and variables associated with complications of acute limb ischemia.
Results:A total of 102 patients were operated upon. The male to female ratio was 2:1; the mean age of presentation was 54±17 years. Patients presented after an average of 9±4.8 days of symptom onset. The type of procedures performed were, thrombectomy 51(47.2%), primary amputation 24(22.2%), bypass or interposition vascular grafts 10(9.2%), embolectomy 10(9.2%), primary vascular repair 7(6.4%), and femoro-femoral graft 6(5.5%). Local and systemic complications occurred in 35.3% and 17.6% respectively. Amputation after re-vascularization surgery was seen in 32.4%. A 30-day total amputation & mortality rate was 52.9% and 9.8% respectively. Clinical variables found to have a statistical significant association (P<0.05) with complications were age ≥ 60 years, late presentation (≥ 9days), patients with hypertensive disease and previous myocardial infarction.
Conclusions: Optimizing co-morbidities, timely detection and treating immediately on arrival could potentially play a key role in improving surgical outcomes of acute limb ischemia.

Awake prone positioning for COVID-19 patients at Eka Kotebe General Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A prospective cohort study

The objectives of the study were to evaluate the benefit of awake prone positioning in COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Eka Kotebe General Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Consecutive patients with COVID-19 who require supplemental oxygen to maintain oxygen saturation of ≥90% during the month of October 2020 were enrolled. Structured questionnaires were employed to collect data. Admission oxygen saturation was recorded for each patient before and after their first proning session. Analysis of descriptive and comparison statistics was done using SPSS version 25.

A total of 61 patients were included in the study. The mean age (+SD) for the cohort was 55.4 (+16.9) years. The average duration of proning was 5+2.5 h/session and 8+6 h/day. The average oxygen saturation before proning was 89% (SD 5.2) and 93% (SD 2.8) 1 h after proning (P < 0.001); supplemental oxygen requirements significantly decreased with prone ventilation, before proning: FiO2 0.33 (+0.14) versus 1 h after prone ventilation: FiO2 0.31 (+0.13) (P < 0.001). Oxygen improvement with prone ventilation was not associated with duration of illness or total prone position hours. When assessed at 28 days after admission, 55.7% (n = 34) had been discharged home, 1.6% (n = 1) had died, and 42.6 (n = 26) were still hospitalized. CONCLUSION: Awake prone positioning demonstrated improved oxygen saturation in our oxygen requiring COVID-19 patients. Even though further studies are needed to support causality and determine the effect of proning on disease severity and mortality, early institution of prone ventilation in appropriate oxygen requiring COVID-19 patients should be encouraged.

Quality improvement training for burn care in low-and middle-income countries: A pilot course for nurses

There is an urgent need to empower practitioners to undertake quality improvement (QI) projects in burn services in low-middle income countries (LMICs). We piloted a course aimed to equip nurses working in these environments with the knowledge and skills to undertake such projects.

Eight nurses from five burns services across Malawi and Ethiopia took part in this pilot course, which was evaluated using a range of methods, including interviews and focus group discussions.

Course evaluations reported that interactive activities were successful in supporting participants to devise QI projects. Appropriate online platforms were integral to creating a community of practice and maintaining engagement. Facilitators to a successful QI project were active individuals, supportive leadership, collaboration, effective knowledge sharing and demonstrable advantages of any proposed change. Barriers included: staff attitudes, poor leadership, negative culture towards training, resource limitations, staff rotation and poor access to information to guide practice.

The course demonstrated that by bringing nurses together, through interactive teaching and online forums, a supportive community of practice can be created. Future work will include investigating ways to scale up access to the course so staff can be supported to initiate and lead quality improvement in LMIC burn services.

Time to recovery from cataract and its predictors among eye cataract patients treated with cataract surgery: A retrospective cohort study in Ethiopia

Cataracts is the major global causes of blindness and a vision-affecting disease of the eye. Cataract surgery is a curative and cost-effective intervention. The number of people who undergo cataract surgery has increased rapidly. Hence, this study was aimed to determine predictors and the time of recovery of cataract patients after cataract surgery by using Simi parametric models of survival analysis.

A retrospective cohort study was conducted from January/01/2015 and January/30/2019. STATA version14.0 statistical software was used for analysis. The Kaplan-Meier survival method and log-rank test curves were applied. Weibull regression was used and adjusted hazard ratio 95% CI with a value of p less than 0.05 was used to identify a significant association.

Two hundred twenty three cataract patients were recovered from cataract, 72.6% (95% CI 69.8%–75.9%). The overall median survival time was 23 weeks (IQR = 16 to 35) with (95% CI, 21%–25%). aged between 16 and 30year (AHR = 1.20 CI; 1.07–2.36), age 31 to 45 (AHR = 1.24 CI; 1.08–1.54), urban dwellers (AHR = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.18–2.14), medium visual acuity (AHR = 4.14 CI; 2.57–6.67), high visual acuity (AHR = 5.23 CI; 3.06–8.93), Secondary cataract (AHR = 2.59 CI; 1.01–3.02), traumatic cataract (AHR = 1.75 CI; 1.01–3.02), extra capsular cataract extraction surgery (AHR = 1.43 CI; 1.07–1.94),and diabetes mellitus (AHR = 0.75, CI; 0.41–0.96) were notably associated with time to recovery.

Time to recovery in the study area was slightly higher as compared with the global cut of time. Cataract patients with comorbidity of DM had lower recovery tim

The availability and utilization of psychosocial services for breast cancer 2 patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: a mixed method study

Background: Provision of psychosocial services has substantial impact in cancer care by reducing emotional distress and improving both the quality of life and survival of patients, but the availability and utilization of the services have been not well-studied in developing countries, particularly in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to explore the types of psychosocial services available for breast cancer patients and utilization in selected health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Methods: A mixed method study was conducted using a cross-sectional survey involving a sample of 428 patients with breast cancer, followed by a qualitative study in seven health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A total of nine in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with purposefully selected four breast cancer patients and five key informants using two separate interview guides. Descriptive statistics were calculated using SPSS software, and both bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were done to identify factors associated with provision of psychosocial services. Thematic analysis was used for the qualitative data using NVivo 12 plus software.
Result: Only 47 (11.1%) patients received psychosocial services, either in the form of counseling, emotional support or provision of information. Addis Ababa residency, severity of pain and longer duration since diagnosis were factors associated with provision of psychosocial services. Health professionals reportedly provided such services along with their routine activities, and patients predominantly received social/emotional support from family members, friends and colleagues. There was no well-structured counseling service, emotional support or group discussion sessions for breast cancer patients in these health facilities. The main reasons reported by health professionals for not providing these services were high patient flow/workload, inadequate space, lack of training and not having qualified professionals to organize and deliver psychosocial services in those hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Conclusion: This study revealed that very few breast cancer patients received psychosocial services from health professionals, and the services were not integrated and delivered in a structured way. Therefore, integrating and implementing psychosocial services in cancer care is recommended both in private and government health facilities in Ethiopia

Smartphone Medical App Use and Associated Factors Among Physicians at Referral Hospitals in Amhara Region, North Ethiopia, in 2019: Cross-sectional Study

Information in health care is rapidly expanding and is updated very regularly, especially with the increasing use of technology in the sector. Due to this, health care providers require timely access to the latest scientific evidence anywhere. Smartphone medical apps are tools to access the latest reputable scientific evidence in the discipline. In addition, smartphone medical apps could lead to improved decision making, reduced numbers of medical errors, and improved communication between hospital medical staff.

The aim of this study was to assess smartphone medical app use and associated factors among physicians working at referral hospitals of the Amhara region, Ethiopia.

An institution-based cross-sectional study design was conducted among physicians working at 5 referral hospitals in the Amhara region, Ethiopia, from February 5 to May 27, 2019. A simple random sampling method was used to select 423 physicians. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data and analyzed using SPSS, version 21 (IBM Corp). Binary and multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to assess factors associated with smartphone medical app use among physicians. A value of P<.05, corresponding to a 95% CI, was considered statistically significant. The validity of the questionnaire was determined based on the view of experts and the reliability of it obtained by calculating the value of Cronbach alpha (α=.78)

In this study, most of the 417 respondents (375, 89.9%) had medical apps installed on their smartphones. Of those 375 respondents, 264 (70.4%) had used medical apps during clinical practice. The medical apps most commonly used by the respondents were UpToDate, Medscape, MedCalc, and Doximity. According to multivariable logistic regression analysis, attitude (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.64, 95% CI 1.05-2.55), internet access (AOR 2.82, 95% CI 1.75-4.54), computer training (AOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.09-2.67), perceived usefulness of the app (AOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.05-2.54), information technology support staff (AOR 2.363, 95% CI 1.5-3.08), and technical skill (AOR 2.52, 95% CI 1.50-4.25) were significantly associated with smartphone medical app use.

Most respondents have a smartphone medical app and have used it in clinical practice. Attitude, internet access, computer training, perceived usefulness of the app, information technology support staff, and technical skill are the most notable factors that are associated with smartphone medical app use by physicians.

Magnitude, Pattern and Management Outcome of Intestinal Obstruction among Non-Traumatic Acute Abdomen Surgical Admissions in Arba Minch General Hospital, Southern Ethiopia

Background: Intestinal obstruction is defined as a blockage or partial blockage of the passage of the intestinal contents. It is a potentially risky surgical emergency associated with high morbidity and mortality. Its pattern differs from country to country and even from place to place within a country. Therefore, this study aimed to find out the magnitude, pattern and management outcome of intestinal obstruction in Arba Minch General Hospital.

Methods: A retrospective Cross-Sectional study was conducted in Arba Minch General hospital from January 09, 2015, to November 09, 2018. The data collection period was from December 15, 2018, to February 09, 2019. Simple random technique was applied to select 801 study participants. Then, the required data entered into Epi Info version and exported to the statistical package for the social sciences software package version 20 for analysis.

Result: This study revealed that the overall magnitude of intestinal obstruction was 40.60% with 95% CI (34.95 – 45.95). The magnitude of unfavorable management outcomes and deaths during the study period were 22.3% with 95% CI (18.00-27.00) and 7.1 % with 95% CI (4.00-10.00) respectively. Small bowel volvulus, sigmoid volvulus and adhesion (bands) accounted for 45.30%, 21.35% and 11.97% of all patterns of intestinal obstructions respectively. Dehydration (p<0.001), persistent tachycardia (p<0.001) and perforated bowl (p<0.001) were highly significantly associated with the management outcome of intestinal obstruction.

Conclusion and recommendation: Intestinal obstruction was the most common among all acute abdomen cases and its management outcome highly associated with dehydration. Early resuscitation is recommended to decrease unfavorable management outcomes.

Cervical cancer in Sub‐Saharan Africa: a multinational population‐based cohort study on patterns and guideline adherence of care

Cervical cancer (CC) is the most common female cancer in many countries of sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). We assessed treatment guideline adherence and its association with overall survival (OS).

Our observational study covered nine population‐based cancer registries in eight countries: Benin, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Random samples of 44‐125 patients diagnosed 2010‐2016 were selected in each. Cancer‐directed therapy (CDT) was evaluated for degree of adherence to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (USA) Guidelines.

Of 632 patients, 15.8% received CDT with curative potential: 5.2% guideline‐adherent, 2.4% with minor and 8.2% major deviations. CDT was not documented or without curative potential in 22%; 15.7% were diagnosed FIGO IV disease. Adherence was not assessed in 46.9% (no stage or follow‐up documented 11.9%) or records not traced (35.1%). The largest share of guideline‐adherent CDT was observed in Nairobi (49%), the smallest in Maputo (4%). In FIGO I‐III patients (n=190), minor and major guideline deviations were associated with impaired OS: hazard rate ratio (HRR) 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.36‐8.37; and HRR 1.97, CI 0.59‐6.56 respectively. CDT without curative potential (HRR 3.88, CI 1.19‐12.71) and no CDT (HRR 9.43, CI 3.03‐29.33) showed substantially worse survival.

We found only one in six cervical cancer patients in SSA received CDT with curative potential. At least one‐fifth and possibly up to two thirds of women never accessed CDT, despite curable disease, resulting in impaired OS. Investments into more radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgical training could change the fatal outcomes of man

How do caregivers of children with congenital heart diseases access and navigate the healthcare system in Ethiopia?

Surgery can correct congenital heart defects, but disease management in low- and middle-income countries can be challenging and complex due to a lack of referral system, financial resources, human resources, and infrastructure for surgical and post-operative care. This study investigates the experiences of caregivers of children with CHD accessing the health care system and pediatric cardiac surgery.

A qualitative study was conducted at a teaching hospital in Ethiopia. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 caregivers of 10 patients with CHD who underwent cardiac surgery. We additionally conducted chart reviews for triangulation and verification. Interviews were conducted in Amharic and then translated into English. Data were analyzed according to the principles of interpretive thematic analysis, informed by the candidacy framework.

The following four observations emerged from the interviews: (a) most patients were diagnosed with CHD at birth if they were born at a health care facility, but for those born at home, CHD was discovered much later (b) many patients experienced misdiagnoses before seeking care at a large hospital, (c) after diagnosis, patients were waiting for the surgery for more than a year, (d) caregivers felt anxious and optimistic once they were able to schedule the surgical date. During the care-seeking journey, caregivers encountered financial constraints, struggled in a fragmented delivery system, and experienced poor service quality.

Delayed access to care was largely due to the lack of early CHD recognition and financial hardships, related to the inefficient and disorganized health care system. Fee waivers were available to assist low-income children in gaining access to health services or medications, but application information was not readily available. Indirect costs like long-distance travel contributed to this challenge. Overall, improvements must be made for district-level screening and the health care workforce.

Admission Pattern and Extent of Resident Engagement in a Public Hospital Private-Wing surgical practice: Experience from St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Objective: Establishment of private wing in public hospitals is one of the Ministry of health of Ethiopia’s health sector financial reform program which was launched in 2008. This study was initiated to illuminate the experiences on admission pattern and engagement of residents in procedures in private wing within a public hospital. Methodology:A hospital based retrospective study on surgical procedures was performed from September 2013 to August 2016. Data were collected by using structured questionnaire and analyzed with SPSS version 20.1. Quantitative and qualitative data were used in the analysis. Results: A total of 4995 patients were admitted and operated in the private wing; out of which 56.7% were females and 43.3% were males. Cholelithiasis is the leading cause of admission accounting to 44.9% of the general surgery admission followed by thyroid pathologies and hernias. BPH is the leading cause of admission followed by urolithiasis and urethral stricture in the urology unit. Residents have been involved in 62.7% private wing procedures. These procedures ranges from excision of soft tissue mass to abdominoperineal resection. Conclusion: Cholelithiasis, thyroid pathologies and hernias were common surgical pathologies threated in the private wing. Surgical residents were the primary assistant in most procedures. The private wing admission in a public hospital has opened a new window of opportunity in addressing the increased demand of surgical services and increased the engagement of surgical residents’ to a multitude of surgical procedures.