An assessment of orofacial clefts in Tanzania.

Clefts of the lip (CL), the palate (CP), or both (CLP) are the most common orofacial congenital malformations found among live births, accounting for 65% of all head and neck anomalies. The frequency and pattern of orofacial clefts in different parts of the world and among different human groups varies widely. Generally, populations of Asian or Native American origin have the highest prevalence, while Caucasian populations show intermediate prevalence and African populations the lowest. To date, little is known regarding the epidemiology and pattern of orofacial clefts in Tanzania.A retrospective descriptive study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre to identify all children with orofacial clefts that attended or were treated during a period of five years. Cleft lip and/or palate records were obtained from patient files in the Hospital’s Departments of Surgery, Paediatrics and medical records. Age at presentation, sex, region of origin, type and laterality of the cleft were recorded. In addition, presence of associated congenital anomalies or syndromes was recorded.A total of 240 orofacial cleft cases were seen during this period. Isolated cleft lip was the most common cleft type followed closely by cleft lip and palate (CLP). This is a departure from the pattern of clefting reported for Caucasian and Asian populations, where CLP or isolated cleft palate is the most common type. The distribution of clefts by side showed a statistically significant preponderance of the left side (43.7%) (?2 = 92.4, p < 0.001), followed by the right (28.8%) and bilateral sides (18.3%). Patients with isolated cleft palate presented at very early age (mean age 1.00 years, SE 0.56). Associated congenital anomalies were observed in 2.8% of all patients with orofacial clefts, and included neural tube defects, Talipes and persistent ductus arteriosus.Unilateral orofacial clefts were significantly more common than bilateral clefts; with the left side being the most common affected side. Most of the other findings did not show marked differences with orofacial cleft distributions in other African populations.

Management of cleft lip and palate in Nigeria: A survey.

Clefts of the lip and/or palate are the most common congenital craniofacial defects and second only to club foot among all congenital anomalies. The management of this condition is resource intensive due to the multidimensional needs. This survey was carried out to ascertain the current state of cleft management in Nigeria with emphasis on training, scope of management, and assessment of treatment outcome.Structured questionnaires were administered to cleft surgeons based on professional and practitioners’ register and the result of literature search for cleft surgeons whose names may not appear in the registers.A total of 69 returned questionnaires were analyzed. The highest number of surgeons was from southwest geopolitical region while the northeast had the least. Fifty-eight (84.1%) were specialists with the fellowships. Forty-seven had been cleft surgeons for <10 years. Majority undertook lip repair between 3 and 4 months while 50% did cleft palate at or more than 9 months. Millard rotation and advancement was used for lip repair by 91.2% and 44 employed the von Langenbeck technique for palatal repair. Forty-six respondents carried out nasal repair at the time of lip surgery with 44 doing this as closed rhinoplasty. Adhesive tapes were usually employed by 44 (63.7%) for managing the protruding premaxilla. Orthodontic evaluation was not usually part of the treatment plan of 34 respondents. Otology assessment and assessment of velopharyngeal competence were rarely done. Revision surgeries, alveolar bone grafting, rhinoplasties, and maxillary osteotomies were uncommon. Interdisciplinary team care approach was practiced by 54 (78.2%) respondents.Findings suggest an increase in the number of surgeons, but the training, scope, and standard of care remain relatively limited. Audit and assessment of the practice should also become points of emphasis.

Competency-Based Education in Low Resource Settings: Development of a Novel Surgical Training Program.

BACKGROUND:
The unmet burden of surgical disease represents a major global health concern, and a lack of trained providers is a critical component of the inadequacy of surgical care worldwide. Competency-based training has been advanced in high-income countries, improving technical skills and decreasing training time, but it is poorly understood how this model might be applied to low- and middle-income countries. We describe the development of a competency-based program to accelerate specialty training of in-country providers in cleft surgery techniques.

METHODS:
The program was designed and piloted among eight trainees at five international cleft lip and palate surgical mission sites in Latin America and Africa. A competency-based evaluation form, designed for the program, was utilized to grade general technical and procedure-specific competencies, and pre- and post-training scores were analyzed using a paired t test.

RESULTS:
Trainees demonstrated improvement in average procedure-specific competency scores for both lip repairs (60.4-71.0%, p < 0.01) and palate (50.6-66.0%, p < 0.01). General technical competency scores also improved (63.6-72.0%, p < 0.01). Among the procedural competencies assessed, surgical markings showed the greatest improvement (19.0 and 22.8% for lip and palate, respectively), followed by nasal floor/mucosal approximation (15.0%) and hard palate dissection (17.1%).

CONCLUSION:
Surgical delivery models in LMICs are varied, and trade-offs often exist between goals of case throughput, quality and training. Pilot program results show that procedure-specific and general technical competencies can be improved over a relatively short time and demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating such a training program into surgical outreach missions.

Patient Barriers to Accessing Surgical Cleft Care in Vietnam: A Multi-site, Cross-Sectional Outcomes Study.

BACKGROUND:
Most people who lack adequate access to surgical care reside in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Few studies have analyzed the barriers that determine the ability to access surgical treatment. We seek to determine which barriers prevent access to cleft care in a resource-limited country to potentially enable barrier mitigation and improve surgical program design.

METHODS:
A cross-sectional, multi-site study of families accessing care for cleft lip and palate deformities was performed in Vietnam. A survey instrument containing validated demographic, healthcare service accessibility, and medical/surgical components was administered. The main patient outcome of interest was receipt of initial surgical treatment prior to 18 months of age.

RESULTS:
Among 453 subjects enrolled in the study, 216 (48%) accessed surgical care prior to 18 months of age. In adjusted regression models, education status of the patient’s father (OR 1.64; 95% CI 1.1-2.5) and male sex (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.1-2.4) were both associated with timely access to care. Distance and associated cost of travel, to either the nearest district hospital or to the cleft surgical mission site, were not associated with timing of access. In a sensitivity analysis considering care received prior to 24 months of age, cost to attend the surgical mission was additionally associated with timely access to care.

CONCLUSIONS:
Half of the Vietnamese children in our cohort were not able to access timely surgical cleft care. Barriers to accessing care appear to be socioeconomic as much as geographical or financial. This has implications for policies aimed at reaching vulnerable patients earlier.

Barriers to Cleft Lip and Palate Repair Around the World.

Cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) is estimated to occur in 1 out of every 700 births, but for many people residing in low- and middle-income countries this deformity may be repaired late in life or not at all. This study aims to analyze worldwide provider-perceived barriers to the surgical repair of CLP in low- and middle-income countries.From 2011 to 2014, Smile Train distributed a multiple-choice, voluntary survey to healthcare providers to identify areas of need in CLP care worldwide. Data on provider-reported barriers to care were aggregated by year, country, and larger world regions.A total of 1997 surveys were completed by surgeons and healthcare providers (60.7% response rate). The most commonly reported barriers were “patient travel costs” (60.7%), “lack of patient awareness” (54.1%), and “lack of financial support” (52.8%). “Patient travel costs” was the most commonly reported barrier in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. “Lack of financial support” was the most commonly reported barrier in the Americas, Eastern Europe, and East Asia.This is the largest intercontinental study on healthcare provider-identified barriers to care, representing the limitations experienced by healthcare professionals in providing corrective surgery for CLP around the world. Financial risk protection from hidden costs, such as patient travel costs, is essential. Community health workers and nurses are critical for communication and linking CLP care to the rest of the community. Recognition of these barriers can inform future policy decisions, targeted by region, for surgical systems delivering care for patients with CLP worldwide.

An assessment of orofacial clefts in Tanzania

BACKGROUND:
Clefts of the lip (CL), the palate (CP), or both (CLP) are the most common orofacial congenital malformations found among live births, accounting for 65% of all head and neck anomalies. The frequency and pattern of orofacial clefts in different parts of the world and among different human groups varies widely. Generally, populations of Asian or Native American origin have the highest prevalence, while Caucasian populations show intermediate prevalence and African populations the lowest. To date, little is known regarding the epidemiology and pattern of orofacial clefts in Tanzania.

METHODS:
A retrospective descriptive study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre to identify all children with orofacial clefts that attended or were treated during a period of five years. Cleft lip and/or palate records were obtained from patient files in the Hospital’s Departments of Surgery, Paediatrics and medical records. Age at presentation, sex, region of origin, type and laterality of the cleft were recorded. In addition, presence of associated congenital anomalies or syndromes was recorded.

RESULTS:
A total of 240 orofacial cleft cases were seen during this period. Isolated cleft lip was the most common cleft type followed closely by cleft lip and palate (CLP). This is a departure from the pattern of clefting reported for Caucasian and Asian populations, where CLP or isolated cleft palate is the most common type. The distribution of clefts by side showed a statistically significant preponderance of the left side (43.7%) (χ2 = 92.4, p < 0.001), followed by the right (28.8%) and bilateral sides (18.3%). Patients with isolated cleft palate presented at very early age (mean age 1.00 years, SE 0.56). Associated congenital anomalies were observed in 2.8% of all patients with orofacial clefts, and included neural tube defects, Talipes and persistent ductus arteriosus.

CONCLUSIONS:
Unilateral orofacial clefts were significantly more common than bilateral clefts; with the left side being the most common affected side. Most of the other findings did not show marked differences with orofacial cleft distributions in other African populations.