Duration of the patient interval in breast cancer and factors associated with longer delays in low-and middle-income countries: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Breast cancer survival is lower in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) partially due to many women being diagnosed with late-stage disease. The patient interval refers to the time elapsed between the detection of symptoms and the first consultation with a healthcare provider and is considered one of the core indicators for early diagnosis and treatment. The goal of the current research was to conduct a meta-analysis of the duration of the patient interval in LMICs and investigate the socio-demographic and socio-cultural factors related to longer delays in presentation.

We conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis (pre-registered protocol CRD42020200752). We searched seven information sources (2009–2022) and included 50 articles reporting the duration of patient intervals for 18,014 breast cancer patients residing in LMICs.

The longest patient intervals were reported in studies from the Middle East (3–4 months), followed by South-East Asia (2 months), Africa (1–2 months), Latin America (1 month), and Eastern Europe (1 month). Older age, not being married, lower socio-economic status, illiteracy, low knowledge about cancer, disregarding symptoms or not attributing them to cancer, fear, negative beliefs about cancer, and low social support were related to longer delays across most regions. Longer delays were also related to use of alternative medicine in the Middle East, South-East Asia, and Africa and distrust in the healthcare system in Eastern Europe.

There is large variation in the duration of patient intervals across LMICs in different geographical regions. Patient intervals should be reduced and, for this purpose, it is important to explore their determinants taking into account the social, cultural, and economic context.

Global surgery and global health: One size does not fit all

Global surgery is interpreted differently and may lack an in-depth understanding which is complicated by socio-economy and culture. Global surgery and global health have become part of health care service following the report of the Lancet Commission. Sustainability, ethical principles, and decolonization are some important ongoing issues for recipient societies. Incorporating societal dimensions, socio-cultural values, patients’ needs, and affordability requires a tailored approach and not blindly pursuing the best technology. The recent COVID-19 has exposed the unethical and inequity in terms of equitable healthcare, vaccine rollout and its access, and unprecedented high mortality observed in some societies. Surgery has been a neglected stepchild of global health and in addition global surgery must not be a slave of technology for the promotion of the ‘gold standard’, especially corporate-led commercialized services because a sustainable and effective surgical service at a reduced cost is desirable for all, be resource-rich or poor. Global surgery and global health include health security and universal health coverage. Stakeholders of global surgery need to be aware that ‘one size does not fit all’ and are required to consider the diverse conditions.

Healthcare Services for the Physically Challenged Persons in Africa: Challenges and Way Forward

This chapter is based on persons with physical disabilities in Africa, their challenges, and how it affects their health-seeking behaviors. We noticed that physical challenge has a substantial long-term adverse effect on one’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Both the causes and the consequences of physical disability vary throughout the world, especially in Africa. Environmental, technical, and attitudinal barriers and consequent social exclusion reduce the opportunities for physically challenged persons to contribute productively to the household and the community and further increase the risk of falling into poverty and poor healthcare services. The inability of the physically challenged persons to perceive the lack of points of interest of government has intensified to make significant recommendations and possible solutions. This is appalling because the rate to which a community provides and funds restoration is a way of grading how much interest it has, and importance it connects to the quality of life of its citizens. We advocate and recommend swift actions and disability inclusiveness to accommodate persons with physical disabilities in Africa for them to have a good perception of life.

Safety culture and adverse event reporting in Ghanaian healthcare facilities: Implications for patient safety

Recognizing the values and norms significant to healthcare organizations (Safety Culture) are the prerequisites for safety and quality care. Understanding the safety culture is essential for improving undesirable workforce attitudes and behaviours such as lack of adverse event reporting. The study assessed the frequency of adverse event reporting, the patient safety culture determinants of the adverse event reporting, and the implications for Ghanaian healthcare facilities.

The study employed a multi-centre cross-sectional survey on 1651 health professionals in 13 healthcare facilities in Ghana using the Survey on Patient Safety (SOPS) Culture, Hospital Survey questionnaire. Analyses included descriptive, Spearman Rho correlation, one-way ANOVA, and a Binary logistic regression model.

The majority of health professionals had at least reported adverse events in the past 12 months across all 13 healthcare facilities. Teamwork (Mean: 4.18, SD: 0.566) and response to errors (Mean: 3.40, SD: 0.742) were the satisfactory patient safety culture. The patient safety culture dimensions were statistically significant (χ2 (9, N = 1642) = 69.28, p < .001) in distinguishing between participants who frequently reported adverse events and otherwise. Conclusion Promoting an effective patient safety culture is the ultimate way to overcome the challenges of adverse event reporting, and this can effectively be dealt with by developing policies to regulate the incidence and reporting of adverse events. The quality of healthcare and patient safety can also be enhanced when healthcare managers dedicate adequate support and resources to ensure teamwork, effective communication, and blame-free culture.

Global Learning for Health Equity: A Literature Review

Background: In high income countries struggling with escalating health care costs and persistent lack of equity, there is growing interest in searching for innovative solutions developed outside national borders, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Engaging with global ideas to apply them to local health equity challenges is becoming increasingly recognized as an approach to shift the health equity landscape in the United States (US) in a significant way. No single name or set of practices yet defines the process of identifying LMIC interventions for adaptation; implementing interventions in high-income countries (HIC) settings; or evaluating the implementation of such projects.

Objectives: This paper presents a review of the literature describing the practice of adapting global ideas for use in the US, particularly in the area of health equity. Specifically, the authors sought to examine; (i) the literature that advocates for, or describes, adaption of health-related innovations from LMICs to HICs, both generally and for health equity specifically, and (ii) implementation practices, strategies, and evidence-based outcomes in this field, generally and in the area of health equity specifically. The authors also propose terminology and a definition to describe the practice.

Methods: The literature search included two main concepts: global learning and health equity (using these and related terms). The search consisted of text-words and database-specific terminology (e.g., MeSH, Emtree) using PubMed, Embase (Elsevier), CINAHL (Ebsco), and Scopus in March 2021. The authors also contacted relevant experts to identify grey literature. Identified sources were categorized according to theme to facilitate analysis. In addition, five key interviews with experts engaged with global ideas to promote health equity in the United States were conducted to develop additional data.

Results: The literature review yielded over ninety (n = 92) sources relating to the adaptation of global ideas from low resource to higher resource settings to promote health equity (and related concepts). Identified sources range from those providing general commentaries about the value of seeking health-related innovations outside the US border to sources describing global projects implemented in the US, most without implementation or outcome measures. Other identified sources provide frameworks or guidance to help identify and/or implement global ideas in the US, and some describe the role of the World Health Organization and other international consortia in promoting a global approach to solving domestic health equity and related challenges.

Conclusions: The literature review demonstrates that there are resources and commentary describing potential benefits of identifying and adapting novel global ideas to address health equity in the US, but there is a dearth of implementation and evaluation data. Terminology is required to define and frame the field. Additional research, particularly in the area of implementation science and evidence-based frameworks to support the practice of what we define as ‘global learning’ for health equity, is necessary to advance the practice.

Putting global health high on the agenda of medical schools

In this opinion paper, we reflect on global health and global health education as well as challenges that the coming generation are likely to face. As the field is rapidly changing, it is vital to critically reflect categories of “global south” and “global north” as geographical boundaries, and rather think in terms of inequalities that are present in all countries. Global perspectives on health are useful to analyze structural challenges faced in all health care systems and help understand the diversity of cultures and patients’ concepts of disease. We first discuss burning questions and important challenges in the field and how those challenges are tackled. Rather than going into detail on topical issues, we reflect on approaches and attitudes that we think are important in global health education and present opportunities and challenges for young scholars who are interested in working in this field.

The Role and Duty of Global Surgery in Increasing Sustainability and Improving Patient Care in Low and Middle-Income Countries

Global health is one of the most pressing issues facing the 21st century. Surgery is a resource and energy-intensive healthcare activity which produces overwhelming quantities of waste. Using the 5Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink, and Research) provides the global surgical community with the pillars of sustainability to develop strategies that are scalable and transferable in both low and middle-income countries and their high-income counterparts.

Reducing energy consumption is necessary to achieving net zero emissions in the provision of essential healthcare. Simple, easily transferrable, high-income country (HIC) technologies can greatly reduce energy demands in low-income countries. Reusing appropriately sterilized equipment and reprocessing surgical devices leads to a reduction of costs and a significant reduction of unnecessary potentially hazardous waste. Recycling through official government-facilitated means reduces ‘informal recycling’ schemes, and the spread of communicable diseases whilst expectantly reducing the release of carcinogens and atmospheric greenhouse gases. Rethinking local surgical innovation and providing an ecosystem that is both ethical and sustainable, is not only beneficial from a medical perspective but allows local financial investment and feeds back into local economies. Finally, research output from low-income countries is minimal compared to the global academic output. Research from low and middle-income countries must equal research from high-income countries, thereby producing fruitful partnerships. With adequate international collaboration and awareness of the lack of necessary surgical interventions in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), global surgery has the potential to reduce the impact of surgical practice on the environment, without compromising patient safety or quality of care.

The 4th Syiah Kuala International Conference Conjunction With The 5th Aceh Surgery Update International Conference

Assalamualaikum Wr. Wb

All Praise and gratitude we pray the presence of Allah SWT for all His grace and guidance so we can still work to help in the fields of education and humanity. With greetings and prayers we praise the prophet rahmatan lil alamin Rasulullah Muhammad SAW who has brought us from the realm of darkness to a realm full of knowledge.
This year 2022, we will organized a collaborative event between Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala and Department of Surgery Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala. The event called the The 4th Syiah Kuala International Conference (SKIC) In Conjunction with The 5th Aceh Surgery Update International Conference (ASUIC) 2022. This conference will be delivered a concept as Hybrid Conference will be held on October 6th – 9th 2022, with theme Reconnecting; Advances in Surgery and Clinical Collaboration. This Hybrid conference will be attended by international and national speakers who have expertise in the field of surgery, medical education, clinical medicine and the latest information regarding Medical Education and Health Transformation from Indonesian government. This scientific event felt very special with the presence of the Bali Medical Journal Indexed by SCOPUS (Q4) and Web of Science in scientific publications for all topics presented, both in symposium and free paper sessions.
I would like to welcome all experts who are willing to attend in this outstanding hybrid conference to be resource persons at this scientific event, I would like to thank all the committees and sponsors who have helped us to make this activity a success. Finally, I also welcome all the participants, I hope you all get valuable scientific experinces in wonderful city of Banda Aceh.

Thank You
Sincerely yours,

Nutritional intake in acute care surgery patients in Kigali, Rwanda- A single institution descriptive analysis

INTRODUCTION: Nutrition is essential for health and healing, especially in the perioperative period. However, little is known about the nutritional intake of hospitalized patients in low and middle-income countries.
This paper aimed to characterize the composition and quantity of food in acute care surgery patients at a tertiary referral hospital in Rwanda.

METHODS: Acute care surgery patients were queried about nutritional intake during hospitalization from May 21, 2018, to June 3, 2018, for 100 patient days. Calorie and protein intake were estimated and compared to standards for an average Rwandan adult.
RESULTS: Median daily calorie intake was 1472 kcal/day (Interquartile range (IQR): 662, 2116). The median daily protein intake was 45.99 g (IQR: 24.38, 70.22). Assuming a calorie need of 25 kcal/kg/day and a protein need of 1g/kg/day, this is 98.1% of the estimated daily calorie needs and 76.7% of estimated daily protein needs. Estimating higher energy needs for a surgical patient, the daily intake is 70.0-81.9% of calorie needs and 51.1-63.9% of protein needs.

CONCLUSION: Overall, the calorie and protein intake for the average Rwandan acute care surgery patient were low compared to the needs of a 60 kg surgical patient. More education and accessibility to high-quality foods are needed to ensure adequate nutrition in the postoperative period to optimize clinical outcomes.

Assessing equity of access and affordability of care among South Sudanese refugees and host communities in two districts in Uganda: a cross-sectional survey

The vast majority of refugees are hosted in low and middle income countries (LMICs), which are already struggling to finance and achieve universal health coverage for their own populations. While there is mounting evidence of barriers to health care access facing refugees, there is more limited evidence on equity in access to and affordability of care across refugee and host populations. The objective of this study was to examine equity in terms of health needs, service utilisation, and health care payments both within and between South Sudanese refugees and hosts communities (Ugandan nationals), in two districts of Uganda.

Participants were recruited from host and refugee villages from Arua and Kiryandongo districts. Twenty host villages and 20 refugee villages were randomly selected from each district, and 30 households were sampled from each village, with a target sample size of 2400 households. The survey measured condition incidence, health care seeking and health care expenditure outcomes related to acute and chronic illness and maternal care. Equity was assessed descriptively in relation to household consumption expenditure quintiles, and using concentration indices and Kakwani indices (for expenditure outcomes). We also measured the incidence of catastrophic health expenditure- payments for healthcare and impoverishment effects of expenditure across wealth quintiles.

There was higher health need for acute and chronic conditions in wealthier groups, while maternal care need was greater among poorer groups for refugees and hosts. Service coverage for acute, chronic and antenatal care was similar among hosts and refugee communities. However, lower levels of delivery care access for hosts remain. Although maternal care services are now largely affordable in Uganda among the studied communities, and service access is generally pro-poor, the costs of acute and chronic care can be substantial and regressive and are largely responsible for catastrophic expenditures, with service access benefiting wealthier groups.

Efforts are needed to enhance access among the poorest for acute and chronic care and reduce associated out-of-pocket payments and their impoverishing effects. Further research examining cost drivers and potential financing arrangements to offset these will be important.