Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Declining Rates of Chronic and Recurrent Infection and Their Possible Role in the Origins of Non-communicable Diseases.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as atherosclerosis and cancers, are a leading cause of death worldwide. An important, yet poorly explained epidemiological feature of NCDs is their low incidence in under developed areas of low-income countries and rising rates in urban areas.With the goal of better understanding how urbanization increases the incidence of NCDs, we provide an overview of the urbanization process in sub-Saharan Africa, discuss gene expression differences between rural and urban populations, and review the current NCD determinant model. We conclude by identifying research priorities.Declining rates of chronic and recurrent infection are the hallmark of urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa. Gene profiling studies show urbanization results in complex molecular changes, with almost one-third of the peripheral blood leukocyte transcriptome altered. The current NCD determinant model could be improved by including a possible effect from declining rates of infection and expanding the spectrum of diseases that increase with urbanization.Urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa provides a unique opportunity to investigate the mechanism by which the environment influences disease epidemiology. Research priorities include: (1) studies to define the relationship between infection and risk factors for NCDs, (2) explaining the observed differences in the inflammatory response between rural and urban populations, and (3) identification of animal models that simulate the biological changes that occurs with urbanization. A better understanding of the biological changes that occur with urbanization could lead to new prevention and treatment strategies for some of the most common surgical diseases in high-income countries.

High Elective Surgery Cancellation Rate in Malawi Primarily Due to Infrastructural Limitations.

The provision of safe and timely surgical care is essential to global health care. Low- and middle-income countries have a disproportionate share of the global surgical disease burden and struggle to provide care with the given resources. Surgery cancellation worldwide occurs for many reasons, which are likely to differ between high-income and low-income settings. We sought to evaluate the proportion of elective surgery that is cancelled and the associated reasons for cancellation at a tertiary hospital in Malawi.This was a retrospective review of a database maintained by the Department of Anesthesiology at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Data were available from August 2011 to January 2015 and included weekday records for the number of scheduled surgeries, the number of cancelled surgeries, and the reasons for cancellation. Descriptive statistics were performed.Of 10,730 scheduled surgeries, 4740 (44.2%) were cancelled. The most common reason for cancellation was infrastructural limitations (84.8%), including equipment shortages (50.9%) and time constraints (33.3%). Provider limitations accounted for 16.5% of cancellations, most often due to shortages of anaesthesia providers. Preoperative medical conditions contributed to 26.3% of cancellations.This study demonstrates a high case cancellation rate at a tertiary hospital in Malawi, attributable primarily to infrastructural limitations. These data provide evidence that investments in medical infrastructure and prevention of workforce brain drain are critical to surgical services in this region.

Provision of surgical care in Ethiopia: Challenges and solutions.

With the lowest measured rate of surgery in the world, Ethiopia is faced with a number of challenges in providing surgical care. The aim of this study was to elucidate challenges in providing safe surgical care in Ethiopia, and solutions providers have created to overcome them. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 practicing surgeons in Ethiopia. Following de-identification and immersion into field notes, topical coding was completed with an existing coding manual. Codes were adapted and expanded as necessary, and the primary data analyst confirmed reproducibility with a secondary analyst. Qualitative analysis revealed topics in access to care, in-hospital care delivery, and health policy. Patient financial constraints were identified as a challenge to accessing care. Surgeons were overwhelmed by patient volume and frustrated by lack of material resources and equipment. Numerous surgeons commented on the inadequacy of training and felt that medical education is not a government priority. They reported an insufficient number of anaesthesiologists, nurses, and support staff. Perceived inadequate financial compensation and high workload led to low morale among surgeons. Our study describes specific challenges surgeons encounter in Ethiopia and demonstrates the need for prioritisation of surgical care in the Ethiopian health agenda. LCoGS: The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery; LMIC: low- and middle-income country.

A global country-level comparison of the financial burden of surgery.

Approximately 30 per cent of the global burden of disease is surgical, and nearly one‐quarter of individuals who undergo surgery each year face financial hardship because of its cost. The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery has proposed the elimination of impoverishment due to surgery by 2030, but no country‐level estimates exist of the financial burden of surgical access.

Using publicly available data, the incidence and risk of financial hardship owing to surgery was estimated for each country. Four measures of financial catastrophe were examined: catastrophic expenditure, and impoverishment at the national poverty line, at 2 international dollars (I$) per day and at I$1·25 per day. Stochastic models of income and surgical costs were built for each country. Results were validated against available primary data.

Direct medical costs of surgery put 43·9 (95 per cent posterior credible interval 2·2 to 87·1) per cent of the examined population at risk of catastrophic expenditure, and 57·0 (21·8 to 85·1) per cent at risk of being pushed below I$2 per day. The risk of financial hardship from surgery was highest in sub‐Saharan Africa. Correlations were found between the risk of financial catastrophe and external financing of healthcare (positive correlation), national measures of well‐being (negative correlation) and the percentage of a country’s gross domestic product spent on healthcare (negative correlation). The model performed well against primary data on the costs of surgery.

Country‐specific estimates of financial catastrophe owing to surgical care are presented. The economic benefits projected to occur with the scale‐up of surgery are placed at risk if the financial burden of accessing surgery is not addressed in national policies.

Global Surgery 2030: a roadmap for high income country actors.

The Millennium Development Goals have ended and the Sustainable Development Goals have begun, marking a shift in the global health landscape. The frame of reference has changed from a focus on 8 development priorities to an expansive set of 17 interrelated goals intended to improve the well-being of all people. In this time of change, several groups, including the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, have brought a critical problem to the fore: 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed. The magnitude of this problem and the world’s new focus on strengthening health systems mandate reimagined roles for and renewed commitments from high income country actors in global surgery. To discuss the way forward, on 6 May 2015, the Commission held its North American launch event in Boston, Massachusetts. Panels of experts outlined the current state of knowledge and agreed on the roles of surgical colleges and academic medical centres; trainees and training programmes; academia; global health funders; the biomedical devices industry, and news media and advocacy organisations in building sustainable, resilient surgical systems. This paper summarises these discussions and serves as a consensus statement providing practical advice to these groups. It traces a common policy agenda between major actors and provides a roadmap for maximising benefit to surgical patients worldwide. To close the access gap by 2030, individuals and organisations must work collectively, interprofessionally and globally. High income country actors must abandon colonial narratives and work alongside low and middle income country partners to build the surgical systems of the future.

Patterns and Causes of Amputation in Ayder Referral Hospital, Mekelle, Ethiopia: A Three-Year Experience

Amputation is a surgical procedure for the removal of a limb which is indicated when limb recovery is impossible. There are different types of amputation, and their causes can vary from one area to the other. Therefor, the aim of this study is to find out the patterns and causes of amputations in patients presented to Ayder Referral Hospital, Mekelle, Ethiopia.

the record of 87 patients who had amputation at different sites after admission to Ayder referral hospital, Mekelle, Ethiopia in three years period were reviewed retrospectively.

A total of 87 patients had amputation of which 78.2% were males. The age range was from 3 to 95 years, and the mean age was 40.6 in years. The most common indications were trauma (37.7%), tumor (24.1%), and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) (20.7%). The commonest type of amputation was major lower limb amputation (58.6%) which includes above knee amputation (35.6%)and below knee amputation (23%) followed by digital amputation (17.2%). There was 11.4% major upper limb amputation of which there was one patient who had re-amputation.

Most of the indications for amputations in our setup are potentially preventable by increasing awareness in the society on safety measures both at home and at work and early presentation to health facilities.

Surgical Site Infections Rates in More Than 13,000 Surgical Procedures in Three Cities in Peru: Findings of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium

BACKGROUND: Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a threat to patient safety. However, there are not available data on SSI rates stratified by surgical procedure (SP) in Peru.

METHODS: From January 2005 to December 2010, a cohort prospective surveillance study on SSIs was conducted by the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) in four hospitals in three cities of Peru. Data were recorded from hospitalized patients using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC-NHSN) methods and definitions for SSI. Surgical procedures (SPs) were classified into 4 types, according to ICD-9 criteria.

RESULTS: We recorded 352 SSIs, associated to 13,904 SPs (2.5%; CI, 2.3-2.8) SSI rates per type of SP were the following for this study’s Peruvian hospitals, compared with rates of the INICC and CDC-NHSN reports, respectively: 2.9% for appendix surgery (vs. 2.9% vs. 1.4%); 2.8% for gallbladder surgery (vs. 2.5% vs. 0.6%); 2.2% for cesarean section (vs. 0.7% vs. 1.8%); 2.8% for vaginal hysterectomy (vs. 2.0% vs. 0.9%).

CONCLUSIONS: Our SSIs rates were higher in all of the four analyzed types of SPs compared with CDC-NHSN, whereas compared with INICC, most rates were similar. This study represents an important advance in the knowledge of SSI epidemiology in Peru that will allow us to introduce targeted interventions.

Surgical Site Infection Rates in Seven Cities in Vietnam: Findings of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium

Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in lower-income countries. This is the first study to report the results of surveillance on SSI stratified by surgical procedure in seven Vietnamese cities.

Methods: This was a prospective, active SSI surveillance study conducted from November 2008–December 2010 in seven hospitals using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC-NHSN) definitions and methods. Surgical procedures (SPs) were classified into 26 types according to the International Classification of Diseases Edition 9 criteria.

Results: We recorded 241 SSIs, associated with 4,413 SPs (relative risk [RR] 5.5%; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 4.8–6.2). The highest SSI rates were found for limb amputation (25%), colon surgery (33%), and small bowel surgery (21%). Compared with CDC-NHSN SSI report, our SSI rates were higher for the following SPs: Limb amputation (25% vs. 1.3%; RR 20.0; p = 0.001); appendix surgery (8.8% vs. 3.5%; RR 2.54; 95% CI 1.3–5.1; p = 0.001); gallbladder surgery (13.7% vs. 1.7%; RR 7.76; 95% CI 1.9–32.1; p = 0.001); colon surgery (18.2% vs. 4.0%; RR 4.56; 95% CI 2.0–10.2; p = 0.001); open reduction of fracture (15.8% vs. 3.4%; RR 4.70, 95% CI 1.5–15.2; p = 0.004); gastric surgery (7.3% vs. 1.7%; RR 4.26; 95% CI 2.2–8.4, p = 0.001); kidney surgery (8.9% vs. 0.9%; RR 10.2; 95% CI 3.8–27.4; p = 0.001); prostate surgery (5.1% vs. 0.9%; RR 5.71; 95% CI 1.9–17.4; p = 0.001); small bowel surgery (20.8% vs. 6.7%; RR 3.07; 95% CI 1.7–5.6; p = 0.001); thyroid or parathyroid surgery (2.4% vs. 0.3%; RR 9.27; 95% CI 1.0–89.1; p = 0.019); and vaginal hysterectomy (14.3% vs. 1.2%; RR 12.3; 95% CI 1.7–88.4; p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Our SSIs rates were significantly higher for 11 of the 26 types of SPs than for the CDC-NHSN. This study advances our knowledge of SSI epidemiology in Vietnam and will allow us to introduce targeted interventions.