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.

Towards effective Ponseti clubfoot care: the Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project.

Neglected clubfoot is common, disabling, and contributes to poverty in developing nations. The Ponseti clubfoot treatment has high efficacy in correcting the clubfoot deformity in ideal conditions but is demanding on parents and on developing nations’ healthcare systems. Its effectiveness and the best method of care delivery remain unknown in this context. The 6-year Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project (USCCP) aims to build the Ugandan healthcare system’s capacity to treat children with the Ponseti method and assess its effectiveness. We describe the Project and its achievements to date (March 2008). The Ugandan Ministry of Health has approved the Ponseti method as the preferred treatment for congenital clubfoot in all its hospitals. USCCP has trained 798 healthcare professionals to identify and treat foot deformities at birth. Ponseti clubfoot care is now available in 21 hospitals; in 2006-2007, 872 children with clubfeet were seen. USCCP-designed teaching modules on clubfoot and the Ponseti method are in use at two medical and three paramedical schools. 1152 students in various health disciplines have benefited. USCCP surveys have (1) determined the incidence of clubfoot in Uganda as 1.2 per 1000 live births, (2) gained knowledge surrounding attitudes, beliefs, and practices about clubfoot across different regions, and (3) identified barriers to adherence to Ponseti treatment protocols. USCCP is now following a cohort of treated children to evaluate its effectiveness in the Ugandan context.Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Musculoskeletal trauma services in Uganda.

Approximately 2000 lives are lost in Uganda annually through road traffic accidents. In Kampala, they account for 39% of all injuries, primarily in males aged 16-44 years. They are a result of rapid motorization and urbanization in a country with a poor economy. Uganda’s population is an estimated 28 million with a growth rate of 3.4% per year. Motorcycles and omnibuses, the main taxi vehicles, are the primary contributors to the accidents. Poor roads and drivers compound the situation. Twenty-three orthopaedic surgeons (one for every 1,300,000 people) provide specialist services that are available only at three regional hospitals and the National Referral Hospital in Kampala. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries are managed nonoperatively by 200 orthopaedic officers distributed at the district, regional and national referral hospitals. Because of the poor economy, 9% of the national budget is allocated to the health sector. Patients with musculoskeletal injuries in Uganda frequently fail to receive immediate care due to inadequate resources and most are treated by traditional bonesetters. Neglected injuries typically result in poor outcomes. Possible solutions include a public health approach for prevention of road traffic injuries, training of adequate human resources, and infrastructure development.