Emergency and Essential Surgical Healthcare Services During COVID-19 in Low- And Middle-Income Countries: A Perspective

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Emergency and Essential Surgical Healthcare Services During COVID-19 in Low- And Middle-Income Countries: A Perspective

Journalinternational Journal of surgery
Publication date – May – 2020
Authors – Xiya Ma, Dominique Vervoort, Ché L. Reddy, Kee B. Park, and Emmanuel Makasa
KeywordsCoronavirus, covid-19, Global Health, global surgery
Open access – Yes
SpecialityEmergency surgery
World region Global

Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on June 5, 2020 at 3:30 am
Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant changes in health care systems worldwide, with low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) sustaining important repercussions. Specifically, alongside cancellation and postponements of non-essential surgical services, emergency and essential surgical care delivery may become affected due to the shift of human and material resources towards fighting the pandemic. For surgeries that do get carried through, new difficulties arise in protecting surgical personnel from contracting SARS-CoV-2. This scarcity in LMIC surgical ecosystems may result in higher morbidity and mortality, in addition to the COVID-19 toll. This paper aims to explore the potential consequences of COVID-19 on the emergency and essential surgical care in LMICs, to offer recommendations to mitigate damages and to reflect on preparedness for future crises. Reducing the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on LMIC emergency and essential surgical services can be achieved through empowering communities with accurate information and knowledge on prevention, optimizing surgical material resources, providing quality training of health care personnel to treat SARS-CoV-2, and ensuring adequate personal protection equipment for workers on the frontline. While LMIC health systems are under larger strain, the experience from previous outbreaks may aid in order to innovate and adapt to the current pandemic. Protecting LMIC surgical ecosystems will be a pivotal process in ensuring that previous health system strengthening efforts are preserved, comprehensive care for populations worldwide are ensured, and to allow for future developments beyond the pandemic.

OSI Number – 20501
PMID – 32426019

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