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

Giant Mesenteric Cyst: Successful Management in Low-Resource Setting

Introduction: Mesenteric cysts are rare, generally benign intra-abdominal lesions with a wide range of presentation in terms of size, clinical presentation, etiology, radiological features, and pathological characteristics.

Presentation of case: We reported a case of giant mesenteric cyst in a 16-month-old girl successfully managed in a low-resource setting.

Discussion: This case is particularly important not only due to the rarity of the presented case, but also for the highlighted aspects from a public health point of view. We faced of the problem of a late stage disease and the lack of preoperative diagnosis due to cultural and economic reasons and the weaknesses of healthcare systems, as in the majority of low- and middle-income countries.

Conclusion: Despite all these limitation, this case illustrates that complex, rare diseases can also be managed successfully in a low-resource setting. It is mandatory to strengthen and improve the health system both in terms of equipment both in terms of public health policies in order to offer a better and more effective quality of care to patients also in low-income countries.

Availability, procurement, training, usage, maintenance and complications of electrosurgical units and laparoscopic equipment in 12 African countries

Background: Strategies are needed to increase the availability of surgical equipment in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study was undertaken to explore the current availability, procurement, training, usage, maintenance and complications encountered during use of electrosurgical units (ESUs) and laparoscopic equipment.

Methods: A survey was conducted among surgeons attending the annual meeting of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) in December 2017 and the annual meeting of the Surgical Society of Kenya (SSK) in March 2018. Biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) were surveyed and maintenance records collected in Kenya between February and March 2018.

Results: Among 80 participants, there were 59 surgeons from 12 African countries and 21 BMETs from Kenya. Thirty-six maintenance records were collected. ESUs were available for all COSECSA and SSK surgeons, but only 49 per cent (29 of 59) had access to working laparoscopic equipment. Reuse of disposable ESU accessories and difficulties obtaining carbon dioxide were identified. More than three-quarters of surgeons (79 per cent) indicated that maintenance of ESUs was available, but only 59 per cent (16 of 27) confirmed maintenance of laparoscopic equipment at their centre.

Conclusion: Despite the availability of surgical equipment, significant gaps in access to maintenance were apparent in these LMICs, limiting implementation of open and laparoscopic surgery.

Global Unmet Needs in Cardiac Surgery.

More than 6 billion people live outside industrialized countries and have insufficient access to cardiac surgery. Given the recently confirmed high prevailing mortality for rheumatic heart disease in many of these countries together with increasing numbers of patients needing interventions for lifestyle diseases due to an accelerating epidemiological transition, a significant need for cardiac surgery could be assumed. Yet, need estimates were largely based on extrapolated screening studies while true service levels remained unknown. A multi-author effort representing 16 high-, middle-, and low-income countries was undertaken to narrow the need assessment for cardiac surgery including rheumatic and lifestyle cardiac diseases as well as congenital heart disease on the basis of existing data deduction. Actual levels of cardiac surgery were determined in each of these countries on the basis of questionnaires, national databases, or annual reports of national societies. Need estimates range from 200 operations per million in low-income countries that are nonendemic for rheumatic heart disease to >1,000 operations per million in high-income countries representing the end of the epidemiological transition. Actually provided levels of cardiac surgery range from 0.5 per million in the assessed low- and lower-middle income countries (average 107 ± 113 per million; representing a population of 1.6 billion) to 500 in the upper-middle-income countries (average 270 ± 163 per million representing a population of 1.9 billion). By combining need estimates with the assessment of de facto provided levels of cardiac surgery, it emerged that a significant degree of underdelivery of often lifesaving open heart surgery does not only prevail in low-income countries but is also disturbingly high in middle-income countries.

A profile of surgical burden and anaesthesia services at Mozambique’s Central Hospital: A review.

Surgical and anaesthesia data, including outcomes, remain limited in low-income countries (LIC). This study reviews the surgical burden and anaesthesia services at a tertiary care hospital in Mozambique.Information on activities within the department of anaesthesia at Maputo Central Hospital for 2014-15 was collected from its annual report and verified by the Chairman of Anaesthesia. Personnel information and health care metrics for the hospital in 2015 were collected and verified by hospital leadership.Maputo Central Hospital has 1423 beds with 50.1% allocated to primary surgical services. 39.7% of total admissions were to surgical services, and in 2015 the hospital performed 10,049 major operations requiring anaesthesia. The OB/GYN service had the most operations with 2894 (28.8%), followed by general surgery (1665, 16.6%). Inpatient surgical mortality was 4.1% and surgical-related diagnoses comprised two of the top 9 causes of death, with malignant neoplasms and hemorrhage from trauma causing the highest mortality. In 2014-15, Maputo Central Hospital employed 15 anesthesiologists, with 4 advanced and 23 basic mid-level anaesthesia providers. Of 10,897 total anaesthesia cases in 2014, 6954 were general anaesthesia and 3925 were neuraxial anaesthesia. Other anaesthesia services included chronic pain and intensive care consultation. Anaesthesia department leadership noted a strong desire to improve data collection and analysis for anaesthesia outcomes and complications, requested an additional administrator for statistical analysis.This profile of anaesthesia services at a large tertiary hospital in Mozambique highlights several features of anaesthesia care and surgical burden in LICs, including challenges of resource limitations, patient comorbidity, and social dynamics present in Mozambique that contribute to prolonged hospital stays. As noted, enhanced data collection and analysis within the department and the hospital may be useful in identifying strategies to improve outcomes and patient safety.

Musculoskeletal trauma services in Mozambique and Sri Lanka.

There is currently an escalating epidemic of trauma-related injuries due to road traffic accidents and armed conflicts. This trauma occurs predominantly in rural areas where most of the population lives. Major ways to combat this epidemic include prevention programs, improved healthcare facilities, and training of competent providers. Mozambique and Sri Lanka have many common features including size, economic system, and healthcare structure but have significant differences in their medical education systems. With six medical schools, Sri Lanka graduates 1000 new physicians per year while Mozambique graduates less than 50 from their singular school. To supplement the low number of physicians, a training course for surgical technicians has been implemented. Examination of district hospital staffing and the medical education in these two countries might provide for improving trauma care competence in other developing countries. Musculoskeletal education is underrepresented in most medical school curricula around the world. District hospitals in developing countries are commonly staffed by recently graduated general medical officers, whose last formal education was in medical school. There is an opportunity to improve the quality of trauma care at the district hospital level by addressing the musculoskeletal curriculum content in medical schools.

Conotruncal Heart Defect Repair in Sub-Saharan Africa: Remarkable Outcomes Despite Poor Access to Treatment.

The outcome of children born with conotruncal heart defects may serve as an indication of the status of pediatric cardiac care in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study was undertaken to determine the outcome of children born with conotruncal anomalies in SSA, regarding access to treatment and outcomes of surgical intervention.

From our institution in Ghana, we retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of surgery, in the two-year period from June 2013 to May 2015. The birth prevalence of congenital heart defects (CHDs) in SSA countries was derived by extrapolation using an incidence of 8 per 1,000 live births for CHDs.

The birth prevalence of CHDs for the 48 countries in SSA using 2013 country data was 258,875; 10% of these are presumed to be conotruncal anomalies. Six countries (Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya) accounted for 53.5% of the birth prevalence. In Ghana, 20 patients (tetralogy of Fallot [TOF], 17; pulmonary atresia, 3) underwent palliation and 50 (TOF, 36; double-outlet right ventricle, 14) underwent repair. Hospital mortality was 0% for palliation and 4% for repair. Only 6 (0.5%) of the expected 1,234 cases of conotruncal defects underwent palliation or repair within two years of birth.

Six countries in SSA account for more than 50% of the CHD burden. Access to treatment within two years of birth is probably <1%. The experience from Ghana demonstrates that remarkable surgical outcomes are achievable in low- to middle-income countries of SSA.

Cardiac surgery in low-income settings: 10 years of experience from two countries.

Access to cardiac surgery is limited in low-income settings, and data on patient outcomes are scarce.

To assess characteristics, surgical procedures and outcomes in patients undergoing open-heart surgery in low-income settings.

This was a cohort study (2001-2011) in two low-income countries, Cambodia and Mozambique, where cardiac surgery had been promoted by visiting non-governmental organizations.

In Cambodia and Mozambique, respectively, 1332 and 767 consecutive patients were included; 547 (41.16%) and 385 (50.20%) were men; median age at first surgery was 11 years (interquartile range [IQR] 4-14) and 11 years (IQR 3-18); rheumatic heart disease affected 490 (36.79%) and 268 (34.94%) patients; congenital heart disease (CHD) affected 834 (62.61%) and 390 (50.85%) patients, with increasingly more CHD patients over time (P<0.001); and the number of patients lost to follow-up reached 741 (55.63%) and 112 (14.6%) at 30 days. A total of 249 (32.46%) patients were lost to follow-up in Mozambique, remoteness being the only influencing factor (P<0.001). Among patients with known vital status, the early (<30 days) postoperative mortality rate was 6.10% (n=40) in Mozambique and 3.05% (n=18) in Cambodia. Overall, 109 (8.18%) patients in Cambodia and 94 (12.26%) patients in Mozambique underwent re-do surgery. In Mozambique, a further 50/518 (9.65%) patients died at a median of 23months (IQR 7-43); in Cambodia, a further 34/591 (5.75%) patients died at a median of 11.5months (IQR 6-54.5).

Cardiac surgery is feasible in low-income countries with acceptable in-hospital mortality and proof of capacity building. Patient outcomes after cardiac surgery in low-income countries remain unknown, given the strikingly high numbers of lost to follow-u