Qualitative Analysis of the Host-Perceived Impact of Unidirectional Global Surgery Training in Kijabe, Kenya: Benefits, Challenges, and a Desire for Bidirectional Exchange

Background
As globalization of surgical training increases, growing evidence demonstrates a positive impact of global surgery experiences on trainees from high-income countries (HIC). However, few studies have assessed the impact of these largely unidirectional experiences from the perspectives of host surgical personnel from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This study aimed to assess the impact of unidirectional visitor involvement from the perspectives of host surgical personnel in Kijabe, Kenya.

Methods
Voluntary semi-structured interviews were conducted with 43 host surgical personnel at a tertiary referral hospital in Kijabe, Kenya. Qualitative analysis was used to identify salient and recurring themes related to host experiences with visiting surgical personnel. Perceived benefits and challenges of HIC involvement and host interest in bidirectional exchange were assessed.

Results
Benefits of visitor involvement included positive learning experiences (95.3%), capacity building (83.7%), exposure to diverse practices and perspectives (74.4%), improved work ethic (51.2%), shared workload (44.2%), access to resources (41.9%), visitor contributions to patient care (41.9%), and mentorship opportunities (37.2%). Challenges included short stays (86.0%), visitor adaptation and integration (83.7%), cultural differences (67.4%), visitors with problematic behaviors (53.5%), learner saturation (34.9%), language barriers (32.6%), and perceived power imbalances between HIC and LMIC personnel (27.9%). Nearly half of host participants expressed concerns about the lack of balanced exchange between HIC and LMIC programs (48.8%). Almost all (96.9%) host trainees expressed interest in a bidirectional exchange program.

Conclusion
As the field of global surgery continues to evolve, further assessment and representation of host perspectives is necessary to identify and address challenges and promote equitable, mutually beneficial partnerships between surgical programs in HIC and LMIC.

Burn Admissions Across Low- and Middle-income Countries: A Repeated Cross-sectional Survey

Burn injuries have decreased markedly in high-income countries while the incidence of burns remains high in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) where more than 90% of burns are thought to occur. However, the cause of burns in LMIC is poorly documented. The aim was to document the causes of severe burns and the changes over time. A cross-sectional survey was completed for 2014 and 2019 in eight burn centers across Africa, Asia, and Latin America: Cairo, Nairobi, Ibadan, Johannesburg, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Sao Paulo, and Guadalajara. The information summarised included demographics of burn patients, location, cause, and outcomes of burns. In total, 15,344 patients were admitted across all centers, 37% of burns were women and 36% of burns were children. Burns occurred mostly in household settings (43–79%). In Dhaka and Kathmandu, occupational burns were also common (32 and 43%, respectively). Hot liquid and flame burns were most common while electric burns were also common in Dhaka and Sao Paulo. The type of flame burns varies by center and year, in Dhaka, 77% resulted from solid fuel in 2014 while 74% of burns resulted from Liquefied Petroleum Gas in 2019. In Nairobi, a large proportion (32%) of burns were intentional self-harm or assault. The average length of stay in hospitals decreased from 2014 to 2019. The percentage of deaths ranged from 5% to 24%. Our data provide important information on the causes of severe burns which can provide guidance in how to approach the development of burn injury prevention programs in LMIC.

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

Introduction
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.

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

Methods
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.

Essential Emergency and Critical Care as a health system response to critical illness and the COVID19 pandemic: What does it cost?

Essential Emergency and Critical Care (EECC) is a novel approach to the care of critically ill patients, focusing on first-tier, low-cost care and designed to be feasible even in low-resourced and low-staffed settings. This is distinct from advanced critical care, usually conducted in ICUs with specialised staff, facilities and technologies. This paper estimates the incremental cost of EECC and advanced critical care for the planning of care for critically ill patients in low resource settings with Kenya and Tanzania as case studies.

The incremental costing took a health systems perspective. A normative approach based on the ingredients defined through the recently published global consensus on EECC was used. The setting was a district hospital in which the patient is provided with the definitive care typically provided at that level for their condition. Quantification of resource use was based on COVID-19 as a tracer condition using clinical expertise. Local prices were used where available, and all costs were converted to USD2020.

The costs per patient day of EECC is estimated to be 1.01 USD, 10.83 USD and 32.84 USD in Tanzania and 1.76 USD, 14.86 USD and 37.43 USD in Kenya, for moderate, severe and critical COVID-19 patients respectively. The cost per patient day of advanced critical care is estimated to be 13.11 USD and 17.33 USD for severe and 297.30 USD and 369.64 USD for critical COVID-19 patients in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively.

EECC, an approach of providing the essential care to all critically ill patients, is low-cost. The components of EECC are basic and universal and, when assessed against the existing gaps in critical care coverage and costs of advanced critical care, suggest that it should be a priority area of investment for health systems around the globe.

Epidemiological profile and clinico-pathological features of pediatric gynecological cancers at Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital, Kenya

Background
The main pediatric (0–18 years) gynecologic cancers include stromal carcinomas (juvenile granulosa cell tumors and Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors), genital rhabdomyosarcomas and ovarian germ cell. Outcomes depend on time of diagnosis, stage, tumor type and treatment which can have long-term effects on the reproductive career of these patients. This study seeks to analyze the trends in clinical-pathologic presentation, treatment and outcomes in the cases seen at our facility. This is the first paper identifying these cancers published from sub-Saharan Africa.

Method
Retrospective review of clinico-pathologic profiles and treatment outcomes of pediatric gynecologic oncology patients managed at MTRH between 2010 and 2020. Data was abstracted from gynecologic oncology database and medical charts.

Results
Records of 40 patients were analyzed. Most, (92.5%, 37/40) of the patients were between 10 and 18 years. Ovarian germ cell tumors were the leading histological diagnosis in 72.5% (29/40) of the patients; with dysgerminomas being the commonest subtype seen in 12 of the 37 patients (32.4%). The patients received platinum-based chemotherapy in 70% of cases (28/40). There were 14 deaths among the 40 patients (35%)

Conclusion
Surgery remains the main stay of treatment and fertility-sparing surgery with or without adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy are the standard of care with excellent prognosis following early detection and treatment initiation. LMICs face several challenges in access to quality care and that affects survival of these patients. Due to its commonality, ovarian germ cell cancers warrant a high index of suspicion amongst primary care providers attending to adnexal masses in this age grou

Treatment outcomes of esophageal cancer in Eastern Africa: protocol of a multi-center, prospective, observational, open cohort study

Background
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a major cause of cancer morbidity and mortality in Eastern Africa. The majority of patients with ESCC in Eastern Africa present with advanced disease at the time of diagnosis. Several palliative interventions for ESCC are currently in use within the region, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy with and without chemotherapy, and esophageal stenting with self-expandable metallic stents; however, the comparative effectiveness of these interventions in a low resource setting has yet to be examined.

Methods
This prospective, observational, multi-center, open cohort study aims to describe the therapeutic landscape of ESCC in Eastern Africa and investigate the outcomes of different treatment strategies within the region. The 4.5-year study will recruit at a total of six sites in Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania (Ocean Road Cancer Institute and Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania; Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya; Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya; and Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi). Treatment outcomes that will be evaluated include overall survival, quality of life (QOL) and safety. All patients (≥18 years old) who present to participating sites with a histopathologically-confirmed or presumptive clinical diagnosis of ESCC based on endoscopy or barium swallow will be recruited to participate. Key clinical and treatment-related data including standardized QOL metrics will be collected at study enrollment, 1 month following treatment, 3 months following treatment, and thereafter at 3-month intervals until death. Vital status and QOL data will be collected through mobile phone outreach.

Discussion
This study will be the first study to prospectively compare ESCC treatment strategies in Eastern Africa, and the first to investigate QOL benefits associated with different treatments in sub-Saharan Africa. Findings from this study will help define optimal management strategies for ESCC in Eastern Africa and other resource-limited settings and will serve as a benchmark for future research.

Trial registration
This study was retrospectively registered with the ClinicalTrials.gov database on December 15, 2021, NCT05177393.

The status and future of emergency care in the Republic of Kenya

Kenya is a rapidly developing country with a growing economy and evolving health care system. In the decade since the last publication on the state of emergency care in Kenya, significant developments have occurred in the country’s approach to emergency care. Importantly, the country decentralized most health care functions to county governments in 2013. Despite the triple burden of traumatic, communicable, and non-communicable diseases, the structure of the health care system in the Republic of Kenya is evolving to adapt to the important role for the care of emergent medical conditions. This report provides a ten-year interval update on the current state of the development of emergency medical care and training in Kenya, and looks ahead towards areas for growth and development. Of particular focus is the role emergency care plays in Universal Health Coverage, and adapting to challenges from the devolution of health care.

Cost structure of healthcare in Kaloleni Subcounty (Kilifi, Kenya) from the patient perspective: Measuring the impact of direct healthcare costs on patients

Access to quality, affordable, and reliable healthcare has been a long-standing challenge in rural areas of developing countries. Rural households often incur high out-of-pocket expenditure for healthcare, resulting in a significant cost burden when seeking treatment for an illness. This study aimed to examine the cost structure of healthcare in a rural, underserved community in the Kaloleni Subcounty of Kilifi, Kenya. We measured the impact of direct healthcare costs on a sample of 37 households, along with the coping strategies and treatment-seeking behavior arising from these costs. Direct healthcare costs were grouped into 3 categories: consultation, diagnostic, and medicine fees. Results show that medicine was the highest direct healthcare cost, accounting for 64% of all expenses paid during an episode of illness. Direct healthcare costs also comprised over 12% of the monthly household expenditure in these households, with the lowest-earning homes being disproportionately affected. Malaria was the most common illness reported in the study area, accounting for 37% of all illness cases. Several strategies are proposed to ease the burden of direct healthcare costs. These include government subsidies for community-level healthcare facilities, increasing the availability of medicines, and improving the distribution/use of treated mosquito bed nets to prevent malaria transmission.

Experiences of women seeking care for abortion complications in health facilities: Secondary analysis of the WHO Multi-Country Survey on Abortion in 11 African countries

Objective
Despite evidence of acute and long-term consequences of suboptimal experiences of care, standardized measurements across countries remain limited, particularly for postabortion care. We aimed to determine the proportion of women reporting negative experiences of care for abortion complications, identify risk factors, and assess the potential association with complication severity.

Methods
Data were sourced from the WHO Multi-Country Survey on Abortion for women who received facility-based care for abortion complications in 11 African countries. We measured women’s experiences of care with eight questions from an audio computer-assisted self-interview related to respect, communication, and support. Multivariable generalized estimating equations were used for analysis.

Results
There were 2918 women in the study sample and 1821 (62%) reported at least one negative experience of postabortion care. Participants who were aged under 30 years, single, of low socioeconomic status, and economically dependent had higher odds of negative experiences. Living in West or Central Africa, rather than East Africa, was also associated with reportedly worse care. The influence of complication severity on experience of care appeared significant, such that women with moderate and severe complications had 12% and 40% higher odds of reporting negative experiences, respectively.

Conclusion
There were widespread reports of negative experiences of care among women receiving treatment for abortion complications in health facilities. Our findings contribute to the scant understanding of the risk factors for negative experiences of postabortion care and highlight the need to address harmful provider biases and behaviors, alleviate health system constraints, and empower women in demanding better care.

Professional identity transitions, violations and reconciliations among new nurses in low- and middle-income countries

We examine how new nurses construct their professional identity in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) when they enter clinical practice and encounter practical norms violating procedural standards. We conducted interviews and focus group discussions with 47 Kenyan nurses. We describe new nurses experiencing ‘shock’ entering nursing practice (working and learning alone while responsible for many patients and doing ‘dirty work’), which contrasted with their idealized image and expectations of nursing and prior training. We explain this transition using theory about identity and identity work, which we argue elucidates nurses’ experiences in LMICs. We suggest that nurses’ transition into clinical practice violated pre-existing expectations for their professional identities, which then triggered identity work of ‘toughening up’, ‘maturing through experience’, and ‘learning practical norms’. Through this identity work, and finally experiencing satisfaction from caring for and nursing patients back to health, some nurses were able to restore their valued professional identity.

Our findings highlight the need for professional educators and healthcare policymakers in LMICs to reconsider the way new healthcare workers are prepared for and socialized into professional practice, acknowledging that nursing practice is often very different to training. We argue for developing formative spaces in which health professionals can safely discuss practical norms deviating from procedural standards. Drawing on such conversations, practical norms benefitting the quality and safety in resource constrained contexts might then be incorporated into care standards and ways found to address practical norms harming of patient care.