Establishing a Sustainable Training Program for Laparoscopy in Resource-Limited Settings: Experience in Ghana

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Establishing a Sustainable Training Program for Laparoscopy in Resource-Limited Settings: Experience in Ghana


JournalAnnals of Global Health
Publication date – Jul – 2020
Authors – Mee Joo Kang, Kwabena Breku Apea-Kubi , Kojo Assoku Kwarko Apea-Kubi , Nyabenda-Gomwa Adoula , James Nii Noi Odonkor and Alfred Korbia Ogoe
KeywordsGhana, laparoscopy, Resource-Limited Settings, training
Open access – Yes
SpecialityGeneral surgery, Surgical Education
World region Western Africa
Country: Ghana
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on September 1, 2020 at 8:01 pm
Abstract:

Background:
Healthcare equipment funded by international partners is often not properly utilized in many developing countries due to low levels of awareness and a lack of expertise. A long-term on-site training program for laparoscopic surgery was established at a regional hospital in Ghana upon request of the Ghana Health Service and local surgeons.

Objective:
The authors report the initial 32-month experience of implementing laparoscopic surgery focusing on the trainees’ response, technical independence, and factors associated with the successful implementation of a “new” surgical practice.

Methods:
Curricular structure and feedback results of the trainings for doctors and nurses, and characteristics of laparoscopic procedures performed at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital between January 2017 and September 2019 were retrospectively reviewed.

Findings:
Comprehensive training including two weeks of simulation workshops followed by animal labs were regularly provided for the doctors. Among the 97 trainees, 27.9% had prior exposure in laparoscopic surgery, 95% were satisfied with the program. Eleven nurses attained professional competency over 15 training sessions where none had prior exposure to laparoscopic surgery. Since the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy in February 2017, 82 laparoscopic procedures were performed. The scope of the surgery was expanded from general surgery (n = 46) to gynecology (n = 33), pediatric surgery (n = 2), and urology (n = 1). The volume of local doctors as primary operators increased from 0% (0/17, February to December 2017) to 41.9% (13/31, January to October 2018) and 79.4% (27/34, November 2018 to September 2019), with 72.5% of the cases being assisted by the expatriate surgeon. There were no open conversions, technical complications, or mortalities. Local doctors independently commenced endoscopic surgical procedures including cystoscopies, hysteroscopies, endoscopic neurosurgeries and arthroscopies.

Conclusion:
Sensitization and motivation of the surgical workforce through long-term continuous on-site training resulted in the successful implementation of laparoscopic surgery with a high level of technical independence.

OSI Number – 20663
PMID – 32775220

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