Role of General Practitioners in transforming surgical care in rural Nepal – A descriptive study from eastern Nepal.

Introduction: Nepal is a low-to-middle-income country (LMIC) with a predominantly rural population. Almost 10-20% of patients presenting to hospital require surgical care. The availability of skilled human resources in managing surgical care in rural areas of Nepal has to expand to meet this need. The objective of this study is to describe and demonstrate how General Practitioners (GPs) can be upskilled to provide surgical care in rural district hospitals in Nepal.

Method: It is a retrospective review of all surgical procedures performed by GPs from 1st February 2016 to 31st January 2021 at Charikot hospital. Data was collected from a prospectively maintained Electronic Health Record (EHR) system (Bahmini). Details of data collected included name of the procedure and its respective specialty. GP Task shifting and targeted surgical training programs for common orthopedic procedures and pediatric herniotomy were described in detail.

Result: A wide range of surgical procedures were performed by GPs over 5 years. This included interventions for obstetric emergencies, trauma and orthopedics, gynecological issues, general surgery of adult and childhood. A total of 2037 surgeries were performed by GPs including: Cesarean section 25%, 19.7% were orthopedics surgeries followed by 13.5% of mesh repair for abdominal hernia, 9.3% eversion of sac for Hydrocele, 8.7% appendectomy, 5.2% hysterectomy, 3% of pediatric herniotomy and others.

Conclusion: GPs can be further trained to perform important common surgical procedures to improve access to surgical care for rural communities.

Global paediatric surgery: meeting an unmet need-the response of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons.

AIM:
Outline the response from an organisation regarding the unmet needs in global children’s surgery METHOD: The burden of global surgical disease, whilst daunting, is becoming increasingly better defined as agencies, surgical colleges and professional specialty associations all attempt to increase capacity in terms of manpower, support education and find sustainable solutions to the deficit of health in treating women and children. However, definition of the problem does not in itself create change and similarly, humanitarian activities including volunteering by established surgical practitioners and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) make only marginal improvement in the standards of care on offer at a global level.

RESULTS:
The International Affairs Committee, British Association of Paediatric Surgeons (BAPS) has had its target firmly set on investing in potential leaders within paediatric surgery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and sharing elements of the educational programme made available for training within the UK and Ireland with the aim of contributing to the solutions of inequity in the surgical standards available to the world’s children.

CONCLUSION:
This article outlines some of the practical steps that have been deployed by BAPS by way of sharing the responsibility for problem-solving at a global level. It also highlights the need for clarity in advocacy and the route through which effective communication can translate into wider and more effective delivery of surgical care for children.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: An opportunity to lead innovation in global surgery

Background
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made unparalleled contributions to global health and human development by bringing together generous funding, strategic partnerships, and innovative leadership. For the last twenty years, the Gates Foundation has supported the expansion of programs that directly address the fundamental barriers to the advancement of marginalized communities around the globe, with a transformative focus on innovations to combat communicable diseases and to ensure maternal and child health. Despite the wide spectrum of programs, the Gates Foundation has not, as of yet, explicitly supported the development of surgical care.

Methods
This article explores the pivotal role that the Gates Foundation could play in advancing the emerging global surgery agenda. First, we demonstrate the importance of the Gates Foundation’s contributions by reviewing its history, growth, and evolution as a pioneering supporter of global health and human development. Recognizing the Foundation’s use of metrics and data in strategic planning and action, we align the priorities of the Foundation with the growing recognition of surgical care as a critical component of efforts to ensure universal health care.

Results
To promote healthy lives and well-being for all, development of quality and affordable capacity for surgery, obstetrics and anesthesia is more important than ever. We present the unique opportunity for the Gates Foundation to bring its transformative vision and programing to the effort to ensure equitable, timely, and quality surgical care around the world.