Predictors of immediate neonatal outcome after cesarean section in Uganda

Child mortality rates are high in sub-Saharan Africa and the proportion of early neonatal death is rising. Cesarean section is an effective way to prevent some neonatal deaths and also stillbirths. The present aim was to identify predictors of low Apgar score, immediate neonatal death, and stillbirth after cesarean section in Uganda.

Records of cesarean sections performed at all 14 regional referral hospitals and also 14 first-level (district) hospitals in Uganda were reviewed. Both elective and emergency cases were included. Data comprised mother’s age, indication, type of anesthesia, and immediate outcome of the newborn. To evaluate the relation of the predictor variables to outcome, regression analysis was performed.

37 585 cesarean sections were recorded. The indications for cesarean section which led to the highest neonatal mortality and stillbirth rates and lowest mean Apgar score were uterine rupture and hemorrhage. Emergency surgery and general anesthesia had worse neonatal outcomes than elective surgery and spinal anesthesia. Compared to general anesthesia, spinal anesthesia was favorable for neonatal outcomes.

Elective surgical planning and scale-up of the use of spinal anesthesia may potentially reduce stillbirths and immediate neonatal deaths.

Surgical Site Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance After Cesarean Section Delivery in Rural Rwanda

Background: As the volume of surgical cases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) increases, surgical-site infections (SSIs) are becoming more prevalent with anecdotal evidence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), despite a paucity of data on resistance patterns.

Objectives: As a primary objective, this prospective study aimed to describe the epidemiology of SSIs and the associated AMR among women who delivered by cesarean at a rural Rwandan hospital. As secondary objectives, this study also assessed patient demographics, pre- and post-operative antibiotic use, and SSI treatment.

Methods: Women who underwent cesarean deliveries at Kirehe District Hospital between September 23rd, 2019, and March 16th, 2020, were enrolled prospectively. On postoperative day (POD) 11 (+/− 3 days), their wounds were examined. When an SSI was diagnosed, a wound swab was collected and sent to the Rwandan National Reference Laboratory for culturing and antibiotic susceptibility testing.

Findings: Nine hundred thirty women were enrolled, of whom 795 (85.5%) returned for the POD 11 clinic visit. 45 (5.7%) of the 795 were diagnosed with SSI and swabs were collected from 44 of these 45 women. From these 44 swabs, 57 potential pathogens were isolated. The most prevalent bacteria were coagulase-negative staphylococci (n = 12/57, 20.3% of all isolates), and Acinetobacter baumannii complex (n = 9/57, 15.2%). 68.4% (n = 39) of isolates were gram negative; 86.7% if excluding coagulase-negative staphylococci. No gram-negative pathogens isolated were susceptible to ampicillin, and the vast majority demonstrated intermediate susceptibility or resistance to ceftriaxone (92.1%) and cefepime (84.6%).

Conclusions: Bacterial isolates from SSI swab cultures in rural Rwanda predominantly consisted of gram-negative pathogens and were largely resistant to commonly used antibiotics. This raises concerns about the effectiveness of antibiotics currently used for surgical prophylaxis and treatment and may guide the appropriate selection of treatment of SSIs in rural Rwanda and comparable settings.

Synthesizing postpartum care pathways, facilitators, and barriers for women after cesarean section: a qualitative analysis from rural Rwanda

In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), c-section is the most commonly performed operation, and surgical site infection (SSI) is the most common post-operative complication following all surgical procedures performed. Whilst multiple interventions have been rolled out to address high SSI rates, strategies for optimal care of patients at risk of developing SSIs need to include an understanding of the general care seeking behaviors, facilitators, and barriers among high-risk groups, including mothers delivering via c-section. This study explores the healthcare experiences of women who delivered by c-section section, from giving birth through recovery, and their associated decision-making, perceptions of care, and social and financial supports.

We conducted protocol-guided interviews in rural Kirehe District, Rwanda with twenty-five mothers who delivered by c-section at Kirehe District Hospital between February-April 2018, exploring their experience with delivery, hospitalization, recovery, and complications. Coded interviews were analyzed using the Grounded Theory approach to identify emergent themes. Thematic saturation was achieved.

Overall, women largely followed the tiered referral system, as it was designed. A majority faced financial barriers to returning to care, and a majority were not able to describe the reason for their c-section, the complications experienced, or the treatment prescribed. We constructed a process map to summarize key steps where interventions should be designed to promote facilitators, to reduce barriers, and to identify and target the women being diverted from this designated path.

Understanding the existing healthcare pathway and the associated facilitators and barriers among postpartum women is critical to designing appropriate interventions that properly serve their needs. Our findings strongly suggest that moving or complimenting post-operative wound assessments from the health center into home-based care, and ensuring unified messaging around c-section indications, care, and complications at the community-level are two of the areas that may improve utilization of existing healthcare infrastructure for women who deliver by c-section in rural districts in Rwanda.

Surgery in Swaziland.

Surgeons working in less developed countries have to manage a wider range of conditions than their colleagues in Britain. It is suggested that such an experience would be a valuable part of the education of a specialist in Britain. A personal series of surgical operations carried out in Swaziland is presented.