Performance in mortality prediction of SAPS 3 And MPM-III scores among adult patients admitted to the ICU of a private tertiary referral hospital in Tanzania: a retrospective cohort study

Background
Illness predictive scoring systems are significant and meaningful adjuncts of patient management in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). They assist in predicting patient outcomes, improve clinical decision making and provide insight into the effectiveness of care and management of patients while optimizing the use of hospital resources. We evaluated mortality predictive performance of Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS 3) and Mortality Probability Models (MPM0-III) and compared their performance in predicting outcome as well as identifying disease pattern and factors associated with increased mortality.

Methods
This was a retrospective cohort study of adult patients admitted to the ICU of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar- es- Salaam, Tanzania between August 2018 and April 2020. Demographics, clinical characteristics, outcomes, source of admission, primary admission category, length of stay and the support provided with the worst physiological data within the first hour of ICU admission were extracted. SAPS 3 and MPM0-III scores were calculated using an online web-based calculator. The performance of each model was assessed by discrimination and calibration. Discrimination between survivors and non–survivors was assessed by the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (ROC) and calibration was estimated using the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test.

Results
A total of 331 patients were enrolled in the study with a median age of 58 years (IQR 43-71), most of whom were male (n = 208, 62.8%), of African origin (n = 178, 53.8%) and admitted from the emergency department (n = 306, 92.4%). In- hospital mortality of critically ill patients was 16.1%. Discrimination was very good for all models, the area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve for SAPS 3 and MPM0-III was 0.89 (95% CI [0.844–0.935]) and 0.90 (95% CI [0.864–0.944]) respectively. Calibration as calculated by Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test showed good calibration for SAPS 3 and MPM0-III with Chi- square values of 4.61 and 5.08 respectively and P–Value > 0.05.

Conclusion
Both SAPS 3 and MPM0-III performed well in predicting mortality and outcome in our cohort of patients admitted to the intensive care unit of a private tertiary hospital. The in-hospital mortality of critically ill patients was lower compared to studies done in other intensive care units in tertiary referral hospitals within Tanzania.

Resource Use, Availability and Cost in the Provision of Critical Care in Tanzania: A Systematic Review

Introduction

Critical care is essential in saving lives of critically ill patients, however, provision of critical care across lower resource settings can be costly, fragmented and heterogenous. Despite the urgent need to scale-up the provision of critical care, little is known about its availability and cost. Here, we aim to systematically review and identify reported resource use, availability and costs for the provision of critical care and the nature of critical care provision in Tanzania.

Methods

The systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines; PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020221923. We searched Medline, Embase and global health databases. We included studies that reported on provision of critical care, cost and availability of resources used in the provision of critical care published after 2010. Costs were adjusted and reported in 2019 USD and TZS using the world bank GDP deflators.

Results

A total 31 studies were found to fulfil the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Critical care identified in Tanzania was categorised into: ICU delivered critical care and non-ICU critical care. The availability of ICU delivered critical care was limited to urban settings whereas non-ICU critical care was found in rural and urban settings. 15 studies reported on the costs of services related to critical care yet no study reported an average or unit cost of critical care. Costs of medication, equipment (e.g. oxygen, PPE), services, and human resources were identified as inputs to specific critical care services in Tanzania.

Conclusion

There is limited evidence on the resource use, availability and costs of critical care in Tanzania. There is a strong need for further empirical research on critical care resources availability, utilization and costs across specialties and hospitals of different level in LMICs like Tanzania to inform planning, priority setting and budgeting for critical care services.

Patterns, Predictors and Outcome of Time to Presentation Among Critically ill Paediatric Patients at Emergency Department of Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Background: Mortality among under-five children in Tanzania remains high. While early presentation for treatment increases likelihood of survival, delays to care are common and factors causing delay to presentation among critically ill children are unknown.

Methodology: This was a prospective cohort study of critically ill children aged 28days to 14 years attending emergency department (ED) at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania from September 2019 to January 2020. We documented demographics, time to ED presentation, ED interventions and 30-day outcome. The primary outcome was delay (>48 hours) from the onset of illness to ED presentation. Logistic regression and relative risk were calculated to measure the strength of the predictor and relationship between delay and mortality respectively.

Results: We enrolled 440 (59.1%) critically ill children, their median age was 12 [IQR =9-60] months and 63.9% were males. The median time to ED arrival was 3 days [IQR=1-5] and more than half (56.6%) of critically ill children presented to ED in > 48 hours where by being an infant, self-referral and belonging to poor family were independent predictors of delay. Infants and those referred from other facilities had 2.2 (95% CI 1.3-3.8) and 1.7 (95% CI 1.1-2.7) times increased odds of presenting late to the ED respectively. The overall 30-day in-hospital mortality was 26.5% in which those who presented late were 1.3 more likely to die than those who presented early (RR=1.3, CI: 0.9-1.9). Majority died >24 hours of ED arrival (P-value=0.021).

Conclusion: Delayed ED presentation of more than 48 hours from onset of illness was associated with in-hospital mortality. A larger study is needed to evaluate the care pathway of critically ill paediatric patients to identify preventable course of delay to tertiary care facility

Burden of Road Traffic Injuries in Tanzania: One-Year Prospective Study of Consecutive Patients in 13 Multilevel Health Facilities

Background. Road traffic injuries (RTIs) pose a severe public health crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and specifically in Tanzania, where the mortality due to RTIs is nearly double the global rate. There is a paucity of RTI data in Tanzania to inform evidence-based interventions to reduce the incidence and improve care outcomes. A trauma registry was implemented at 13 health facilities of diverse administrative levels in Tanzania. In this study, we characterize the burden of RTIs seen at these health facilities. Methods. This was a one-year prospective descriptive study utilizing trauma registry data from 13 multilevel health facilities in Tanzania from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020. We provide descriptive statistics on patient demographics; location; share of injury; nature, type, and circumstances of RTI; injury severity; disposition; and outcomes. Results. Among 18,553 trauma patients seen in 13 health facilities, 7,416 (40%) had RTIs. The overall median age was 28 years (IQR 22–38 years), and 79.3% were male. Most road traffic crashes (RTC) occurred in urban settings (68.7%), involving motorcycles (68.3%). Motorcyclists (32.9%) were the most affected road users; only 37% of motorcyclists wore helmets at the time of the crash. The majority (88.2%) of patients arrived directly from the site, and 49.0% used motorized (two- or three-) wheelers to travel to the health facility. Patients were more likely to be admitted to the ward, taken to operating theatre, died at emergency unit (EU), or referred versus being discharged if they had intracranial injuries (27.8% vs. 3.7%; ), fracture of the lower leg (18.9% vs. 6.4%; ), or femur fracture (12.9% vs. 0.4%; ). Overall, 36.1% of patients were admitted, 10.6% transferred to other facilities, and mortality was 2%. Conclusions. RTCs are the main cause of trauma in this setting, affecting mostly working-age males. These RTCs result in severe injuries requiring hospital admission or referral for almost half of the victims. Motorcyclists are the most affected group, in alignment with prior studies. These findings demonstrate the burden of RTCs as a public health concern in Tanzania and the need for targeted interventions with a focus on motorcyclists.

Epidemiology of surgery in a protracted humanitarian setting: a 20-year retrospective study of Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Kigoma, Western Tanzania

Background
There are 80 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, 26.3 million of whom are refugees. Many refugees live in camps and have complex health needs, including a high burden of non-communicable disease. It is estimated that 3 million procedures are needed for refugees worldwide, yet very few studies exist on surgery in refugee camps, particularly protracted refugee settings. This study utilizes a 20-year dataset, the longest dataset of surgery in a refugee setting to be published to date, to assess surgical output in a setting of protracted displacement.

Methods
A retrospective review of surgeries performed in Nyarugusu Camp was conducted using paper logbooks containing entries between November 2000 and September 2020 inclusive. Abstracted data were digitized into standard electronic form and included date, patient nationality, sex, age, indication, procedure performed, and anesthesia used. A second reviewer checked 10% of entries for accuracy. Entries illegible to both reviewers were excluded. Demographics, indication for surgery, procedures performed, and type of anesthesia were standardized for descriptive analysis, which was performed in STATA.

Results
There were 10,799 operations performed over the 20-year period. Tanzanians underwent a quarter of the operations while refugees underwent the remaining 75%. Ninety percent of patients were female and 88% were 18 years of age or older. Caesarean sections were the most common performed procedure followed by herniorrhaphies, tubal ligations, exploratory laparotomies, hysterectomies, appendectomies, and repairs. The most common indications for laparotomy procedures were ectopic pregnancy, uterine rupture, and acute abdomen. Spinal anesthesia was the most common anesthesia type used. Although there was a consistent increase in procedural volume over the study period, this is largely explained by an increase in overall camp population and an increase in caesarean sections rather than increases in other, specific surgical procedures.

Conclusion
There is significant surgical volume in Nyarugusu Camp, performed by staff physicians and visiting surgeons. Both refugees and the host population utilize these surgical services. This work provides context to the surgical training these settings require, but further study is needed to assess the burden of surgical disease and the extent to which it is met in this setting and others.

Access to burn care in low-and middle-income countries: An assessment of timeliness, surgical capacity, and affordability in a regional referral hospital in Tanzania

This study investigates patients’ access to surgical care for burns in a low-and-middle-income setting by studying timeliness, surgical capacity, and affordability. A survey was conducted in a regional referral hospital in Manyara, Tanzania. In total, 67 patients were included. To obtain information on burn victims in need of surgical care, irrespective of time lapsed from the burn injury, both patients with burn wounds and patients with contractures were included. Information provided by patients and/or caregivers was supplemented with data from patient files and interviews with hospital administration and physicians. In the burn wound group, 50 percent reached a facility within 24 hours after the injury. Referrals from other health facilities to the regional referral hospital were made within three weeks for 74 percent in this group. Of contracture patients, seventy four percent, had sought healthcare after the acute burn injury. Of the same group, only 4 percent had been treated with skin grafts beforehand, and 70 percent never received surgical care or a referral. Combined, both groups indicated that lack of trust, surgical capacity, and referral timeliness were important factors negatively impacting patient access to surgical care. Accounting for hospital fees indicated patients routinely exceeded the catastrophic expenditure threshold. It was determined that healthcare for burn victims is without financial risk protection. We recommend strengthening burn care and reconstructive surgical programs in similar settings, using a more comprehensive health systems approach to identify and address both medical and socio-economic factors that determine patient mortality and disability.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international reconstructive collaborations in Africa

Background
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has catalysed a widespread humanitarian crisis in many low- and middle-income countries around the world, with many African nations significantly impacted. The aim of this study was to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the planning and provision of international reconstructive collaborations in Africa.

Methods
An anonymous, 14-question, multiple choice questionnaire was sent to 27 non-governmental organisations who regularly perform reconstructive surgery in Africa. The survey was open to responses for four weeks, closing on the 7th of March 2021. A single reminder was sent out at 2 weeks. The survey covered four key domains: (1) NGO demographics; (2) the impact of COVID-19 on patient follow-up; (3) barriers to the safe provision of international surgical collaborations during COVID-19; (4) the impact of COVID-19 on NGO funding.

Results
A total of ten reconstructive NGOs completed the survey (response rate, 37%). Ethiopia (n = 5) and Tanzania (n = 4) were the countries where most collaborations took place. Plastic, reconstructive and burns surgery was the most common sub-speciality (n = 7). For NGOs that did not have a year-round presence in country (n = 8), only one NGO was able to perform reconstructive surgery in Africa during the pandemic. The most common barrier identified was travel restrictions (within country, n = 8 or country entry-exit, n = 7). Pre-pandemic, 1547 to ≥ 1800 patients received reconstructive surgery on international surgical collaborations. After the outbreak, 70% of NGOs surveyed had treated no patients, with approximately 1405 to ≥ 1640 patients left untreated over the last year.

Conclusions
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed huge pressures on health services and their delivery across the globe. This theme has extended into international surgical collaborations leading to increased unmet surgical needs in low- and middle-income countries.

Misconceptions About Traumatic Brain Injuries in Five Sub-Saharan African Countries

Background
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) remains a significant problem in certain regions of the world but receives little attention despite its enormous burden. This discrepancy could consequently lead to various misconceptions among the general public. This study evaluated misconceptions about TBI in five African countries.

Methods
Data for this cross-sectional study were collected using the Common Misconception about Traumatic Brain Injury (CM-TBI) questionnaire, which was electronically disseminated from January 16 to February 6, 2021. Associations between the percentage of correct answers and independent variables (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics and experience with TBI) were evaluated with the ANOVA test. Additionally, answers to the question items were compared against independent variables using the Chi-Square test. A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results
A total of 817 adults, 50.2% female (n=410), aged 24.3 ± 4.3 years, and majoritarily urban dwellers (94.6%, n=773) responded to the survey. They had received tertiary education (79.2%, n=647) and were from Nigeria (77.7%, n=635). Respondents had few misconceptions (mean correct answers=71.7%, 95% CI=71.0-72.4%) and the amnesia domain had the highest level of misconception (39.3%, 95% CI=37.7-40.8%). Surveyees whose friends had TBI were more knowledgeable about TBI (mean score difference=4.1%, 95% CI=1.2-6.9, P=0.01). Additionally, surveyees whose family members had experienced TBI had a better understanding of brain damage (mean score difference=5.7%, 95% CI=2.1-9.2%, P=0.002) and recovery (mean score difference=4.3%, 95% CI=0.40-8.2%, P=0.03).

Conclusion
This study identified some misconceptions about TBI among young adult Africans. This at-risk population should benefit from targeted education strategies to prevent TBI and reduce TBI patients' stigmatization in Africa.

Cervical Spine Trauma in East Africa: Presentation, Treatment, and Mortality

Background Cervical spine trauma (CST) leads to devastating neurologic injuries. In a cohort of CST patients from a major East Africa referral center, we sought to (a) describe presentation and operative treatment patterns, (b) report predictors of neurologic improvement, and (c) assess predictors of mortality.

Methods A retrospective, cohort study of CST patients presenting to a tertiary hospital in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, was performed. Demographic, injury, and operative data were collected. Neurologic exam on admission/discharge and in-hospital mortality were recorded. Univariate/multivariate logistic regression assessed predictors of operative treatment, neurologic improvement, and mortality.

Results Of 101 patients with CST, 25 (24.8%) were treated operatively on a median postadmission day 16.0 (7.0–25.0). Twenty-six patients (25.7%) died, with 3 (12.0%) in the operative cohort and 23 (30.3%) in the nonoperative cohort. The most common fracture pattern was bilateral facet dislocation (26.7%). Posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion and anterior cervical corpectomy were the 2 most common procedures. Undergoing surgery was associated with an injury at the C4–C7 region versus occiput–C3 region (odds ratio [OR] 6.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.71–32.28, P = .011) and an incomplete injury (OR 3.64; 95% CI 1.19–12.25; P = .029). Twelve patients (15.8%) improved neurologically, out of the 76 total patients with a recorded discharge exam. Having a complete injury was associated with increased odds of mortality (OR 11.75, 95% CI 3.29–54.72, P < .001), and longer time from injury to admission was associated with decreased odds of mortality (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.48–0.85, P = .006). Conclusions Those most likely to undergo surgery had C4–C7 injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries. The odds of mortality increased with complete spinal cord injuries and shorter time from injury to admission, probably due to more severely injured patients dying early within 24–48 hours of injury. Thus, patients living long enough to present to the hospital may represent a self-selecting population of more stable patients. These results underscore the severity and uniqueness of CST in a less-resourced setting.

Nursing students’ experiences with simulation-based education as a pedagogic method in low-resource settings: A mixed-method study

Aims and Objectives
This study introduced simulation-based education in nurse education programs in Tanzania and Madagascar and explored nursing students’ experiences with this pedagogic method as a mode of learning.

Background
Simulation-based education has barely been introduced to education programs in resource-constrained settings. The study was conducted in two nurse education programs: one in rural Tanzania and the other in the mid-land of Madagascar. Both institutions offer diploma programs in nursing. Simulation-based education has not been included in the teaching methods used in these nursing programs.

Design
A descriptive and convergent mixed method design was employed.

Methods
Ninety-nine nursing students were included in the study. Simulation sessions followed by data collection took place once in 2017 and twice in 2018. Data were collected by means of several questionnaires and six focus groups. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis. The Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR) was used to report the results.

Results
The quantitative data revealed that the students rated all the questions related to the simulation design elements, educational practices, and students’ satisfaction and self-confidence in learning with scores of above four on a 5-point Likert scale. The qualitative data from the first theme, building competence and confidence, further emphasized and outlined the quantitative results. Additionally, the qualitative data revealed a second theme, improving through encouragement and corrections. The students clearly expressed that they wanted to be aware of their weaknesses to be able to improve; however, the provision of feedback should be carried out in an encouraging way.

Conclusion
The findings indicated that the nursing students were satisfied with simulation as a pedagogic method, as it improved their competence and prepared them for professional practice. Further research is necessary to explore whether the students are able to transfer their knowledge into clinical practice.