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National approaches to trichiasis surgical follow-up, outcome assessment and surgeon audit in trachoma-endemic countries in Africa
Journal – British Journal of ophthalmology
Publication date – Jul – 2020
Authors – Grace Mwangi, Paul Courtright, Anthony W Solomon
Keywords – Eye (Globe); Public health.
Open access – Yes
Speciality – Ophthalmology
World region Central Africa, Eastern Africa, Western Africa
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on July 29, 2020 at 1:06 am
Background: Poor outcomes of trichiasis surgery, including postoperative trichiasis, are common in many trachoma-endemic countries in Africa. To improve outcomes, WHO recommends regular follow-up and outcome assessment of surgical cases plus audit of trichiasis surgeons.
Aims: To assess national approaches to trichiasis surgical follow-up, outcome assessment and audit, and identify national targets for good surgical outcome (defined as the percentage of patients undergoing surgery for trichiasis remaining free of post-operative trichiasis for a defined interval after surgery).
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out between May and July 2018, involving all 29 known-trachoma-endemic countries in Africa. An emailed questionnaire was used to collect information on national targets for surgical outcomes, policies, monitoring and strategies to address underperformance by surgeons.
Results: All national programmes provided information; 2 of the 29 had not yet implemented trichiasis surgery as part of their trachoma elimination programme. Findings from 27 countries are therefore reported. Only four countries reported having a national policy for trichiasis surgery follow-up and outcome assessment and only two had a national policy for conducting audits of trichiasis surgeons. Only 9 of the 27 countries had a cut-off point at which poorly performing surgeons would be instructed to discontinue surgery until retraining or other interventions had been undertaken.
Discussion: To address the challenge of post-operative trichiasis and other poor outcomes, national trachoma programmes should create and implement policies and systems to follow up patients, assess surgical outcomes and monitor the performance of individual surgeons through post-surgical audits.
OSI Number – 20601
PMID – 32713838