Ponseti clubfoot management: changing surgical trends in Nigeria.

Congenital clubfoot treatment continues to be controversial particularly in a resource-constrained country. Comparative evaluation of clubfoot surgery with Ponseti methods has not been reported in West Africa.To determine the effects of Ponseti techniques on clubfoot surgery frequency and patterns in Nigeria.This was a prospective hospital-based intention-to-treat comparative study of clubfoot managed with Ponseti methods (PCG) and extensive soft tissue surgery (NPCG). The first step was a nonselective double-blind randomization of clubfoot patients into two groups using Excel software in a university teaching hospital setting. The control group was the NPCG patients. The patients’ parents gave informed consent, and the medical research and ethics board approved the study protocol. Biodata was gathered, clubfoot patterns were analyzed, Dimeglio-Bensahel scoring was done, the number of casts applied was tallied, and patterns of surgeries were documented. The cost of care, recurrence and outcomes were evaluated. Kruskal-Wallis analysis and Mann-Whitney U technique were used, and an alpha error of < 0.05 at a CI of 95% were taken to be significant.We randomized 153 clubfeet (in 105 clubfoot patients) into two treatment groups. Fifty NPCG patients (36.2%) underwent manipulation and extensive soft tissue surgery and 55 PCG patients (39.9%) were treated with Ponseti methods. Fifty-two patients of the Ponseti group had no form of surgery (94.5% vs. 32%, p<0.000). Extensive soft tissue surgery was indicated in 17 (34.0%) of the NPCG group, representing 8.9% of the total of 191 major orthopaedic surgeries within the study period. Thirty-five patients (70.0%) from the NPCG group required more than six casts compared to thirteen patients (23.6%) of the PCG (p<0.000). The mean care cost was high within the NPCG when compared to the Ponseti group (48% vs. 14.5%, p<0.000). The Ponseti-treated group had fewer treatment complications (p<0.003), a lower recurrence rate (p<0.000) and satisfactory early outcome (p<0.000).Major clubfoot surgery was not commonly indicated among patients treated with the Ponseti method. The Ponseti clubfoot technique has reduced total care costs, cast utilization, clubfoot surgery frequency and has also changed the patterns of surgery performed for clubfoot in Nigeria.

Surgical treatment of femoral diaphyseal fractures in children using elastic stable intramedullary nailing by open reduction at Yopougon Teaching Hospital.

Introduction
Elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) has transformed children’s femoral shaft fracture treatment, but this technique requires an image intensifier. Without it, open reduction is used to check fracture reduction and pin passage. The aim of this study was to describe our techniques and to evaluate our results at the middle term.

Hypothesis
The open reduction and ESIN technique provides satisfactory results with few major complications.

Patients and methods
This was a retrospective study that focused on femoral diaphyseal fractures treated in the pediatric surgery unit at Yopougon Teaching Hospital (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) between January 2007 and December 2013. Twenty children older than 6 years of age who underwent open reduction and ESIN without image intensifier assistance were included. Functional outcomes were assessed using Flynn’s criteria. Postoperative complications and sequelae were recorded.

Results
At the 16-month follow-up, the results were excellent in 11 (55%) cases, good in eight (40%), and poor in one (5%) case. The mean duration of surgery was 71 min (range, 57–103 min). The mean time for bone healing was 11.6 weeks (range, 7–15 weeks) and the average time to nail removal was 6 months. Complications included wood infection (n = 3), skin irritation (n = 3), knee stiffness (n = 2), malunion (n = 3), scar (n = 5), and leg length discrepancy (n = 3).

Discussion
Open reduction and ESIN yielded satisfactory results with few major complications. This method could be an alternative in low-income countries where the image intensifier is often unavailable.

Linking household and health facility surveys to assess obstetric service availability, readiness and coverage: evidence from 17 low- and middle-income countries.

Improving access and quality of obstetric service has the potential to avert preventable maternal, neonatal and stillborn deaths, yet little is known about the quality of care received. This study sought to assess obstetric service availability, readiness and coverage within and between 17 low- and middle-income countries.We linked health facility data from the Service Provision Assessments and Service Availability and Readiness Assessments, with corresponding household survey data obtained from the Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys. Based on performance of obstetric signal functions, we defined four levels of facility emergency obstetric care (EmOC) functionality: comprehensive (CEmOC), basic (BEmOC), BEmOC-2, and low/substandard. Facility readiness was evaluated based on the direct observation of 23 essential items; facilities “ready to provide obstetric services” had ?20 of 23 items available. Across countries, we used medians to characterize service availability and readiness, overall and by urban-rural location; analyses also adjusted for care-seeking patterns to estimate population-level coverage of obstetric services.Of the 111?500 health facilities surveyed, 7545 offered obstetric services and were included in the analysis. The median percentages of facilities offering EmOC and “ready to provide obstetric services” were 19% and 10%, respectively. There were considerable urban-rural differences, with absolute differences of 19% and 29% in the availability of facilities offering EmOC and “ready to provide obstetric services”, respectively. Adjusting for care-seeking patterns, results from the linking approach indicated that among women delivering in a facility, a median of 40% delivered in facilities offering EmOC, and 28% delivered in facilities “ready to provide obstetric services”. Relatively higher coverage of facility deliveries (?65%) and coverage of deliveries in facilities “ready to provide obstetric services” (?30% of facility deliveries) were only found in three countries.The low levels of availability, readiness and coverage of obstetric services documented represent substantial missed opportunities within health systems. Global and national efforts need to prioritize upgrading EmOC functionality and improving readiness to deliver obstetric service, particularly in rural areas. The approach of linking health facility and household surveys described here could facilitate the tracking of progress towards quality obstetric care.

Delayed access to care and unmet burden of pediatric surgical disease in resource-constrained African countries.

The purpose of this study was to estimate the unmet burden of surgically correctable congenital anomalies in African low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).We conducted a chart review of children operated for cryptorchidism, isolated cleft lip, hypospadias, bladder exstrophy and anorectal malformation at an Ethiopian referral hospital between January 2012 and July 2016 and a scoping review of the literature describing the management of congenital anomalies in African LMICs. Procedure numbers and age at surgery were collected to estimate mean surgical delays by country and extrapolate surgical backlog. The unmet surgical need was derived from incidence-based disease estimates, established disability weights, and actual surgical volumes.The chart review yielded 210 procedures in 207 patients from Ethiopia. The scoping review generated 42 data sets, extracted from 36 publications, encompassing: Benin, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Malawi, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The largest national surgical backlog was noted in Nigeria for cryptorchidism (209,260 cases) and cleft lip (4154 cases), and Ethiopia for hypospadias (20,188 cases), bladder exstrophy (575 cases) and anorectal malformation (1349 cases).These data support the need for upscaling pediatric surgical capacity in LMICs to address the significant surgical delay, surgical backlog, and unmet prevalent need.Retrospective study and review article LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.

Creation, Implementation, and Assessment of a General Thoracic Surgery Simulation Course in Rwanda.

Background
The primary objective was to provide proof of concept of conducting thoracic surgical simulation in a low-middle income country. Secondary objectives were to accelerate general thoracic surgery skills acquisition by general surgery residents and sustain simulation surgery teaching through a website, simulation models, and teaching of local faculty.

Methods
Five training models were created for use in a low-middle income country setting and implemented during on-site courses with Rwandan general surgery residents. A website was created as a supplement to the on-site teaching. All participants completed a course knowledge assessment before and after the simulation and feedback/confidence surveys. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed on participants’ responses.

Results
Twenty-three participants completed the simulation course. Eight (35%) had previous training with the course models. All training levels were represented. Participants reported higher rates of meaningful confidence, defined as moderate to complete on a Likert scale, for all simulated thoracic procedures (p < 0.05). The overall mean knowledge assessment score improved from 42.5% presimulation to 78.6% postsimulation, (p < 0.0001). When stratified by procedure, the mean scores for each simulated procedure showed statistically significant improvement, except for ruptured diaphragm repair (p = 0.45).

Conclusions
General thoracic surgery simulation provides a practical, inexpensive, and expedited learning experience in settings lacking experienced faculty and fellowship training opportunities. Resident feedback showed enhanced confidence and knowledge of thoracic procedures suggesting simulation surgery could be an effective tool in expanding the resident knowledge base and preparedness for performing clinically needed thoracic procedures. Repeated skills exposure remains a challenge for achieving sustainable progress.

International Study of the Epidemiology of Paediatric Trauma: PAPSA Research Study.

Objectives
Trauma is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The literature on paediatric trauma epidemiology in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. This study aims to gather epidemiological data on paediatric trauma.

Methods
This is a multicentre prospective cohort study of paediatric trauma admissions, over 1 month, from 15 paediatric surgery centres in 11 countries. Epidemiology, mechanism of injury, injuries sustained, management, morbidity and mortality data were recorded. Statistical analysis compared LMICs and high-income countries (HICs).

Results
There were 1377 paediatric trauma admissions over 31 days; 1295 admissions across ten LMIC centres and 84 admissions across five HIC centres. Median number of admissions per centre was 15 in HICs and 43 in LMICs. Mean age was 7 years, and 62% were boys. Common mechanisms included road traffic accidents (41%), falls (41%) and interpersonal violence (11%). Frequent injuries were lacerations, fractures, head injuries and burns. Intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic injuries accounted for 3 and 2% of injuries. The mechanisms and injuries sustained differed significantly between HICs and LMICs. Median length of stay was 1 day and 19% required an operative intervention; this did not differ significantly between HICs and LMICs. No mortality and morbidity was reported from HICs. In LMICs, in-hospital morbidity was 4.0% and mortality was 0.8%.

Conclusion
The spectrum of paediatric trauma varies significantly, with different injury mechanisms and patterns in LMICs. Healthcare structure, access to paediatric surgery and trauma prevention strategies may account for these differences. Trauma registries are needed in LMICs for future research and to inform local policy.

Traffic flow and microbial air contamination in operating rooms at a major teaching hospital in Ghana.

Background
Current literature examining the relationship between door-opening rate, number of people present, and microbial air contamination in the operating room is limited. Studies are especially needed from low- and middle-income countries, where the risk of surgical site infections is high.

Aim
To assess microbial air contamination in operating rooms at a Ghanaian teaching hospital and the association with door-openings and number of people present. Moreover, we aimed to document reasons for door-opening.

Methods
We conducted active air-sampling using an MAS 100® portable impactor during 124 clean or clean-contaminated elective surgical procedures. The number of people present, door-opening rate and the reasons for each door-opening were recorded by direct observation using pretested structured observation forms.

Findings
During surgery, the mean number of colony-forming units (cfu) was 328 cfu/m3 air, and 429 (84%) of 510 samples exceeded a recommended level of 180 cfu/m3. Of 6717 door-openings recorded, 77% were considered unnecessary. Levels of cfu/m3 were strongly correlated with the number of people present (P = 0.001) and with the number of door-openings/h (P = 0.02). In empty operating rooms, the mean cfu count was 39 cfu/m3 after 1 h of uninterrupted ventilation and 52 (51%) of 102 samples exceeded a recommended level of 35 cfu/m3.

Conclusion
The study revealed high values of intraoperative airborne cfu exceeding recommended levels. Minimizing the number of door-openings and people present during surgery could be an effective strategy to reduce microbial air contamination in low- and middle-income settings

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.

Pattern of Lower Intestinal Ostomies in a Low-Income Country: Case of Southeast of Niger Republic.

Background
Intestinal ostomies are common surgical procedures performed in visceral surgery as part of management for several gastrointestinal diseases. This study aims to report the socio-demographic characteristics, indications and prognosis of intestinal ostomies in low-income country.

Methods
This was a 4-year retrospective study (January 2013 to December 2016) at Zinder National Hospital (Niger). All patients with a digestive ostomy on an ileum or colic segment were included in the study.

Results
During the study period, 2437 patients underwent digestive surgery, including 328 gastrointestinal stomas (13.5%). Patients classified ASA3 were 60.7% (n = 199). The median age was 12 years (IQ: 7–25). Children represent 64% (n = 210) of patients with ostomy. The sex ratio was 2.60. The stoma was performed in emergency in 96.3% (n = 316) of cases. Acute peritonitis was the main indication of the stoma in 70.73% (n = 232). The ileostomies accounted for 75.61% (n = 248). Ostomy was intended as temporary in 97.3% of cases (n = 319). Complications were observed in 188 patients (57.3%). Mortality was 14.02% (n = 46). The indigent status (OR: 4.15 [2.20–7.83], P = 000), ASA score 4 (OR: 2.53 [1.54–4.15], P = 0.0003), Altemeier class IV (OR: 4.03 [2.10–7.73], P = 0.0000) and ileostomy (OR: 2.7853 [1.47–5.29], P = 0.0018) were statistically associated with the occurrence of major complications. The mean time for stoma closure was 59.3 ± 14.5 days.

Conclusion
Acute peritonitis was the main indication of digestive ostomy. The occurrence of major complications was associated with bad socioeconomic status, ASA4 score, Altemeier class IV and ileostomy.

Initial program evaluation of the Ponseti method in Nigeria.

The Ponseti method for correcting clubfoot is a safe, effective, and low-cost treatment that has recently been implemented in Nigeria. This study evaluates the initial impact of the Ponseti method and the unique challenges to its diffusion among practitioners and patients. Information was obtained by traveling to Ponseti clinics to interview or give questionnaires to the Ponseti method practitioners and the parents of children with clubfoot. The challenges identified among the practitioners were: 1) an inadequate amount of information; 2) inadequate resources; 3) insufficient training programs; and 4) a lack of funding. The challenges among parents were: 1) a deficit in knowledge about clubfoot and its treatment; 2) financial constraints; 3) culture and religious practices, and 4) difficulties with treatment compliance. Information from this study can be used to implement specific strategies to improve the dissemination and implementation of the Ponseti method for treating clubfoot in Nigeria and throughout West African nations that share cultural and socioeconomic commonalities.