Epilepsy surgery in Nigeria: the current state and prospects

Epilepsy, a common neurologic disease, has puzzled mankind since ancient times. The disease has been attributed to different scientific, metaphysical, and spiritual causes and as such many interesting treatment modalities have been used in its management. The course of the modern-day management of epilepsy mirrors the advances in understanding of medicine and neuroscience over time, as well as technological advancements of the past century. Although anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are widely used as the mainstay of treatment, some forms of epilepsy are pharmaco-resistant. To tackle these pharmaco-resistant or anatomically complex forms of epilepsy, many neuroscientists, neurologists and neurosurgeons have researched, developed, and refined several successful surgical approaches for the treatment of epilepsy over the past century. These surgeries have revolutionized care for patients with drug resistant epilepsy ensuring seizure control or complete seizure freedom and are widely used in developed countries. Unfortunately, access to epilepsy surgery (ES) is little or non-existent in countries of the global south, often due to varying combinations of financial and infrastructural constraints as well as knowledge and skill gaps among healthcare professionals, and cultural and religious beliefs among the populace. In Nigeria particularly, ES is in the nascent stage and efforts to improve access to ES through local research and international collaborations for capacity building and system strengthening are currently underway.

Directly observed and reported respectful maternity care received during childbirth in public health facilities, Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria

Respectful maternity care (RMC) is believed to improve women’s childbirth experience and increase health facility delivery. Unfortunately, few women in low- and middle-income countries experience RMC. Patient surveys and independent observations have been used to evaluate RMC, though seldom together. In this study, we assessed RMC received by women using two methodologies and evaluated the associated factors of RMC received. This was a cross-sectional study conducted in nine public health facilities in Ibadan, a large metropolis in Nigeria. We selected 269 pregnant women by cluster sampling. External clinical observers observed them during childbirth using the 29-item Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program RMC observational checklist. The same women were interviewed postpartum using the 15-item RMC scale for self-reported RMC. We analysed total RMC scores and RMC sub-category scores for each tool. All scores were converted to a percentage of the maximum possible to facilitate comparison. Correlation and agreement between the observed and reported RMC scores were determined using Pearson’s correlation and Bland-Altman analysis respectively. Multiple linear regression was used to identify factors associated with observed RMC. No woman received 100% of the observed RMC items. Self-reported RMC scores were much higher than those observed. The two measures were weakly positively correlated (rho = 0.164, 95%CI: 0.045–0.278, p = 0.007), but had poor agreement. The lowest scoring sub-categories of observed RMC were information and consent (14.0%), then privacy (28.0%). Twenty-eight percent of women (95%CI: 23.0% -33.0%) were observed to be hit during labour and only 8.2% (95%CI: 4.0%-18.0%) received pain relief. Equitable care was the highest sub-category for both observed and reported RMC. Being employed and having completed post-secondary education were significantly associated with higher observed RMC scores. There were also significant facility differences in observed RMC. In conclusion, the women reported higher levels of RMC than were observed indicating that these two methodologies to evaluate RMC give very different results. More consensus and standardisation are required in determining the cut-offs to quantify the proportion of women receiving RMC. The low levels of RMC observed in the study require attention, and it is important to ensure that women are treated equitably, irrespective of personal characteristics or facility context.

Assessment of Knowledge, Skills, and Preparedness of General-Duty Police on Prehospital Care of Road Traffic Accident Victims in Abuja, Nigeria

Prompt prehospital care (PHC) is essential for improving outcomes of road traffic accident victims. Previous studies in Nigeria show that little or no PHC is delivered to trauma victims by first responders. This study was conducted to assess police officers’ experience with FA/BLS, to identify gaps in their FA/BLS knowledge and skills, and assess police stations’ FA/BLS equipment capacity for PHC of road traffic accident victims.

This cross-sectional study was conducted among 428 GD police in Abuja between November and December 2018. Respondents were selected using stratified random sampling with proportional allocation method. Data were collected using self-administered electronic semi-structured questionnaires. Data analysis was done using STATA v 14.0 (StataCorp, College Station, TX). Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression were used to assess associations.

We analyzed data from 419 respondents. Almost all (90.2%) of the police were aware of FA/BLS. The proportion of police with poor, fair, and good knowledge and skills on FA/BLS were 15.3%, 79.0%, and 5.7%, respectively. Tertiary (OR = 3.35, 95% CI: 1.01-11.11, P = 0.048) and postgraduate (OR = 6.89, 95% CI: 1.63-29.19, P = 0.009) levels of education had statistically significant association with good knowledge and skills.

This highlights the need to implement an educational intervention to increase FA/BLS competencies within the first responder population

‘An Appraisal of the Contextual Drivers of Successful Antimicrobial Stewardship Implementation in Nigerian Healthcare Facilities.

: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a consequence of inappropriate actions, including irrational antimicrobial prescribing and use. AMR remains an emergent and significant public health threat, particularly in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), including Nigeria. Optimizing antimicrobial (AM) use through functional hospital antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs is one of the strategies to control the spread of AMR. Literature is replete with evidence, but few studies examined the contextual factors limiting AMS functionality at the facility levels. This study explored the intrinsic contextual factors shaping AMS practice at the three-tiered levels of care.

: This was a qualitative case study with a purposeful sample size of 30 participants drawn from two primary, two secondary, and two tertiary health facilities in Nigeria. Data were coded and categorized for thematic analysis.

: Emergent themes include lack of AMS programs, inadequate guidelines, lack of modern equipment and incorrect diagnosis, absence of continuous medical education, imbalance of power among professionals, and pervasive external influence of pharmaceutical marketing companies. These finding demonstrate that the AMS program is lacking or poorly implemented at the three-tiered level of care.

: We recommended that health facilities establish AMS programs in line with World Health Organization’s stepwise approach. These challenges, if addressed, will promote the successful performance of the AMS program, contributing to rational AM use at all levels of care. Since primary health centres constitute 85.4% of all health facilities, customizing the AMS core elements at this level will contribute to achieving the goals of universal health care.

The microeconomic impact of out-of-pocket medical expenditure on the households of cardiovascular disease patients in general and specialized heart hospitals in Ibadan, Nigeria

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) present a huge threat to population health and in addition impose severe economic burden on individuals and their households. Despite this, there is no research evidence on the microeconomic impact of CVDs in Nigeria. Therefore, this study estimated the incidence and intensity of catastrophic health expenditures (CHE), poverty headcount due to out-of-pocket (OOP) medical spending and the associated factors among the households of a cohort of CVDs patients who accessed healthcare services in public and specialized heart hospitals in Ibadan, Nigeria.

This study adopts a descriptive cross-sectional study design. A standardized data collection questionnaire developed by the Initiative for Cardiovascular Health Research in Developing Countries was adapted to electronically collect data from all the 744 CVDs patients who accessed healthcare services in public and specialized heart hospitals in Ibadan between 4th November 2019 to the 31st January 2020. A sensitivity analysis, using rank-dependent thresholds of CHE which ranged from 5%-40% of household total expenditures was carried out. The international poverty line of $1.90/day recommended by the World Bank was utilized to ascertain poverty headcounts pre-and post OOP payments for healthcare services. Categorical variables like household socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, CHE and poverty headcounts, were presented using percentages and proportions. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were used to assess the factors associated with CHE and poverty. Data were analyzed using STATA version 15 and estimates were validated at 5% level of significance.

Catastrophic OOP payment ranged between 3.9%-54.6% and catastrophic overshoot ranged from 1.8% to 12.6%. Health expenditures doubled poverty headcount among households, from 8.13% to 16.4%. Having tertiary education (AOR: 0.49, CI: 0.26–0.93, p = 0.03) and household size (AOR: 0.40, CI: 0.24–0.67, p = 0.001) were significantly associated with CHE. Being female (AOR: 0.41, CI: 0.18–0.92, p = 0.03), household economic status (AOR: 0.003, CI: 0.0003–0.25, p = <0.001) and having 3–4 household members (AOR: 0.30, CI: 0.15–0.61, p = 0.001) were significantly associated with household poverty status post payment for medical services.

OOP medical spending due to CVDs imposed enormous strain on household resources and increased the poverty rates among households. Policies and interventions that supports universal health coverage are highly recommended.

Vision impairment and self-reported anxiety and depression in older adults in Nigeria: evidence from a cross-sectional survey in Kogi State

More than 2 billion people are thought to be living with some form of vision impairment worldwide. Yet relatively little is known about the wider impacts of vision loss on individual health and well-being, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study estimated the associations between all-cause vision impairment and self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression among older adults in Kogi State, Nigeria.

Individual eyes were examined according to the standard Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness methodology, and anxiety and depression were assessed using the Washington Group Short Set on Functioning–Enhanced. The associations were estimated using multivariable logistic regression models, adding two- and three-way interaction terms to test whether these differed for gender subgroups and with age.

Overall, symptoms of either anxiety or depression, or both, were worse among people with severe visual impairment or blindness compared with those with no impairment (OR=2.72, 95% CI 1.86 to 3.99). Higher levels of anxiety and/or depression were observed among men with severe visual impairment and blindness compared with women, and this gender gap appeared to widen as people got older.

These findings suggest a substantial mental health burden among people with vision impairment in LMICs, particularly older men, underscoring the importance of targeted policies and programmes addressing the preventable causes of vision impairment and blindness.

Spectrum of paediatric surgical cases in a private mission teaching hospital in Nigeria

Introduction: Establishing the nature of conditions requiring surgery among children in a particular location may be crucial for policy formulation and implementation as regards paediatric surgery. Objective: This study aimed to describe the pattern and outcome of paediatric surgical cases operated upon in a newly established paediatric surgical unit in Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of all subjects that were operated upon by the paediatric surgery unit over a 28-month period. Data obtained included age, sex, diagnosis, timing of surgery, post-treatment complications and outcome. Diagnoses were categorised based on the International Classification of Diseases 11th revision for morbidity and mortality statistics. Data analysis was done using Stata version 12. Results: A total of 377 procedures were performed on 336 patients with a male-to-female ratio of 2.1:1. The median age at surgery was 36 months. Disorders of the digestive system (184, 48.8%) and developmental anomalies (119, 31.6%) accounted for majority of the cases, with inguinal hernias and hydrocoeles accounting for 17.0% of all cases. Thirty-six per cent of the procedures were emergent ones, and the overall complication rate was 23.6% (89/377). The unplanned re-operation rate was 7.4% (25/336) and mortality rate was 5.1% (17/336). Typhoid ileal perforation was responsible for 4 (23.5%) of the deaths. Conclusion: Congenital anomalies and surgical infections represent a major surgical burden among children in our sub-region of Nigeria. There is, therefore, the need for focused research on these conditions and the integration of children surgery into public health programmes for children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cancer pain control in a Nigerian oncology clinic: treating the disease and not the patient

Introduction: inadequate pain control negatively impacts the quality of life of patients with cancer while potentially affecting the outcome. Proper pain evaluation and management are therefore considered an important treatment goal. This study assessed the prevalence of pain, the prescribing patterns, and the efficacy of pain control measures in cancer patients at the Radiation Oncology Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos.
Methods: this was a longitudinal study design recruiting adults attending outpatient clinics. Participants were assessed at initial contact and again following six weeks using the Universal Pain Assessment Tool developed by the UCLA Department of Anaesthesiology.
Results: among the patients reviewed, 34.0% (118 of 347) were at the clinic, referred for initial assessment following primary diagnosis. All respondents had solid tumours; the most common was breast cancer. The prevalence of pain at initial assessment was 85.9% (298 of 347), with over half of respondents, 74.5% (222 of 347) characterising their pain as moderate to severe. Over a quarter, 28.9% (100 of 347) of patients were not asked about their pain by attending physicians, and none of the patients had a pain assessment tool used during evaluation. In 14.4% (43 of 298) of patients, no intervention was received despite the presence of pain. At six weeks review, 31.5% (94 of 298) of patients had obtained no pain relief despite instituted measures.
Conclusion: under-treatment of cancer pain remains a significant weak link in cancer care in (Low-to-middle-income country) LMICs like Nigeria, with a significant contributor being physician under-evaluation and under-treatment of pain. To ensure pain eradication, the treatment process must begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s pain, an explicit pain control goal and regular reevaluation

Assessment of proton-pump inhibitor use at a tertiary teaching hospital in Nigeria

Proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) is a widely used medication class globally. Because of its good safety profile, there is a huge likelihood of inappropriate use.

To determine the prevalence of PPI use and indications, describe its pattern of usage, and identify factors associated with inappropriate prescriptions at a federal tertiary teaching hospital in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

PPI prescriptions were retrospectively assessed in the General Outpatients’ Department (GOPD) and Gastroenterology Unit (GITU) of a teaching hospital. Relevant data for the study were extracted from the patients’ medical records. Chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests where appropriate were used to identify factors associated with inappropriate PPI prescriptions. A p < 0.05 was considered to be significant.

PPIs were prescribed to 73.3% (220/300) of patients, while inappropriate prescriptions were noted in 91.4% (201/220) of these patients. Epigastric pain (49.5%) was the most common PPI indication, while omeprazole was the highest prescribed (53.4%). Nearly all inpatients (98.2%), those with epigastric pain (95.7%), and patients who were prescribed intravenous PPIs had more inappropriate PPI prescriptions compared to others.

This study revealed a high prevalence of PPI use and inappropriate prescriptions at the study hospital. As a result, these findings highlight the importance PPI-based stewardship program at the study hospital.

Surgical Capacity in Rural Southeast Nigeria: Barriers and New Opportunities

Background: Remarkable gains have been made in global health with respect to provision of essential and emergency surgical and anesthesia care. At the same time, little has been written about the state of surgical care, or the potential strategies for scale-up of surgical services in sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Nigeria inclusive.

Objective: The aim was to document the state of surgical care at district hospitals in southeast Nigeria.

Methods: We surveyed 13 district hospitals using the World Health Organization (WHO) tool for situational analysis developed by the “Lancet Commission on Global Surgery” initiative to assess surgical care in rural Southeast Nigeria. A systematic literature review of scientific literatures and policy documents was performed. Extraction was performed for all articles relating to the five National Surgical, Obstetric and Anesthesia Plans (NSOAPs) domains: infrastructure, service delivery, workforce, information management and financing.

Findings: Of the 13 facilities investigated, there were six private, four mission and three public hospitals. Though all the facilities were connected to the national power grid, all equally suffered electricity interruption ranging from 10–22 hours daily. Only 15.4% and 38.5% of the 13 hospitals had running water and blood bank services, respectively. Only two general surgeon and two orthopedic surgeons covered all the facilities. Though most of the general surgical procedures were performed in private and mission hospitals, the majority of the public hospitals had limited ability to do the same. Orthopedic procedures were practically non-existent in public hospitals. None of the facilities offered inhalational anesthetic technique. There was no designated record unit in 53.8% of facilities and 69.2% had no trained health record officer.

Conclusion: Important deficits were observed in infrastructure, service delivery, workforce and information management. There were indirect indices of gross inadequacies in financing as w