Health facility delivery among women of reproductive age in Nigeria: Does age at first birth matter?

High maternal mortality ratio in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been linked to inadequate medical care for pregnant women due to limited health facility delivery utilization. Thus, this study, examined the association between age at first childbirth and health facility delivery among women of reproductive age in Nigeria.

The study used the most recent secondary dataset from Nigeria’s Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted in 2018. Only women aged15-49 were considered for the study (N = 34,193). Bi-variate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the association between age at first birth and place of delivery. The results were presented as crude odds ratios and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.

The results showed that the prevalence of health facility deliveries was 41% in Nigeria. Women who had their first birth below age 20 [aOR = 0.82; 95%(CI = 0.74–0.90)] were less likely to give birth at health facilities compared to those who had their first birth at age 20 and above.

Our findings suggest the need to design interventions that will encourage women of reproductive age in Nigeria who are younger than 20 years to give birth in health facilities to avoid the risks of maternal complications associated with home delivery. Such interventions should include male involvement in antenatal care visits and the education of both partners and young women on the importance of health facility delivery.

Patterns, travel to care and factors influencing obstetric referral: Evidence from Nigeria’s most urbanised state

The criticality of referral makes it imperative to study its patterns and factors influencing it at a health systems level. This study of referral in Lagos, Nigeria is based on health records of 4181 pregnant women who presented with obstetric emergencies at one of the 24 comprehensive emergency obstetric care (EmOC) facilities in the state between November 2018 and October 2019 complemented with distance and time data extracted from Google Maps. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were conducted. About a quarter of pregnant women who presented with obstetric emergencies were referred. Most referrals were from primary health centres (41.9 %), private (23.5 %) and public (16.2 %) hospitals. Apart from the expected low-level to high-level referral pattern, there were other patterns observed including non-formal, multiple, and post-delivery referrals. Travel time and distance to facilities that could provide needed care increased two-fold on account of referrals compared to scenarios of going directly to the final facility, mostly travelling to these facilities by private cars/taxis (72.8 %). Prolonged/obstructed labour was the commonest obstetric indication for referral, with majority of referred pregnant women delivered via caesarean section (52.9 %). After adjustment, being married, not being registered for antenatal care at facility of care, presenting at night or with a foetus in distress increased the odds of referral. However, parity, presentation in the months following the commissioning of a new comprehensive EmOC facility or with abortion reduced the likelihood of being referred. Our findings underscore the need for health systems strengthening interventions that support women during referral and the importance of antenatal care and early booking to aid identification of potential pregnancy complications whilst establishing robust birth preparedness plans that can minimise the need for referral in the event of emergencies. Indeed, there are context-specific influences that need to be addressed if effective referral systems are to be designed.

Medical Brain Drain and its Effect on the Nigerian Healthcare Sector

Nigeria suffers from a huge brain drain issue across different sectors, particularly in the healthcare sector. The WHO assessed that there is a current shortage of 2.8 million physicians in the world A heuristic phenomenological method was used in this study to explore the lived experiences of 12 Nigerian healthcare practitioners that migrated to the United States. The push-pull theory served as the theoretical framework that grounded this study. The central research questions for this study focused primarily on the reasons healthcare practitioners are leaving Nigeria and what the impact of those decisions have on the Nigerian healthcare sector. Qualitative data were collected and analyzed identified three emerging themes: (a) challenges of living in Nigeria; (b) lack of government support; and (c) reality of knowledge gap. The participants were selected by using a purposive and snowball sampling method, and a semi-structure interview was used to collect data from the participants. The study used Moustakas’s heuristic phenomenological approach, which allowed the use of thematic analysis to record and identify passages of the text that fell into categories. The finding from the research puts the brain drain phenomenon on the Nigerian government and its lack of support in rebuilding the healthcare system. Recommendations were made based on the emergent themes on how the government can work with Nigerians in the diaspora to help strengthen the Nigerian healthcare sector and to create worthwhile policies/laws/regulations that will help build the country. Implication for positive social change include the creation of jobs for young Nigerians and creating proper policies and wage scale so that they can be on par with their counterpart

From the breast to the upper jaw: A rare case of metastatic breast cancer

Breast cancer is the commonest malignancy in women globally. Metastases of advanced breast carcinoma to bones, lungs and liver are well known but spread to maxillary bone presenting as maxillary sinus and palatal swelling is rare. We present a case of advanced breast carcinoma in a female Nigerian with clinical, radiological and histopathological features of lung and right maxillary bone metastases. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of metastatic breast cancer to the lungs and maxilla in Nigeria. The debilitating sequelae of advanced untreated breast carcinoma in a resource limited setting with suboptimal comprehensive cancer care are highlighted.

Opportunities For Improvement in The Administration of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy For T4 Breast Cancer: A Comparison of The United States and Nigeria

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is an integral component of T4 breast cancer (BCa) treatment. We compared response to NAC for T4 BCa in the U.S. and Nigeria to direct future interventions.

Cross‐sectional retrospective analysis included all non‐metastatic T4 BCa patients treated from 2010‐2016 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, U.S.) and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (Ile Ife, Nigeria). Pathologic complete response (pCR) and survival were compared and factors contributing to disparities evaluated.

308 patients met inclusion criteria: 157 (51%) in the U.S. and 151 (49%) in Nigeria. All U.S. patients received NAC and surgery compared with 93 (62%) Nigerian patients. 56/93 (60%) Nigerian patients completed their prescribed course of NAC. In Nigeria, older age and higher socioeconomic status were associated with treatment receipt.

Fewer patients in Nigeria had immunohistochemistry performed (100% U.S. vs. 18% Nigeria). Of those with available receptor subtype, 18% (28/157) of U.S. patients were triple negative vs. 39% (9/23) of Nigerian patients. Overall pCR was seen in 27% (42/155) of U.S. patients and 5% (4/76) of Nigerian patients. Five‐year survival was significantly shorter in Nigeria vs. the U.S. (61% vs. 72%). However, among the subset of patients who received multimodality therapy, including NAC and surgery with curative intent, 5‐year survival (67% vs. 72%) and 5‐year recurrence‐free survival (48% vs. 61%) did not significantly differ between countries.

Addressing health system, socioeconomic, and psychosocial barriers is necessary for administration of complete NAC to improve BCa outcomes in Nigeria.

The influence of travel time to health facilities on stillbirths: A geospatial case-control analysis of facility-based data in Gombe, Nigeria

Access to quality emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC); having a skilled attendant at birth (SBA); adequate antenatal care; and efficient referral systems are considered the most effective interventions in preventing stillbirths. We determined the influence of travel time from mother’s area of residence to a tertiary health facility where women sought care on the likelihood of delivering a stillbirth. We carried out a prospective matched case-control study between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2019 at the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe (FTHG), Nigeria. All women who experienced a stillbirth after hospital admission during the study period were included as cases while controls were consecutive age-matched (ratio 1:1) women who experienced a live birth. We modelled travel time to health facilities. To determine how travel time to the nearest health facility and the FTHG were predictive of the likelihood of stillbirths, we fitted a conditional logistic regression model. A total of 318 women, including 159 who had stillborn babies (cases) and 159 age-matched women who had live births (controls) were included. We did not observe any significant difference in the mean travel time to the nearest government health facility for women who had experienced a stillbirth compared to those who had a live birth [9.3 mins (SD 7.3, 11.2) vs 6.9 mins (SD 5.1, 8.7) respectively, p = 0.077]. However, women who experienced a stillbirth had twice the mean travel time of women who had a live birth (26.3 vs 14.5 mins) when measured from their area of residence to the FTHG where deliveries occurred. Women who lived farther than 60 minutes were 12 times more likely of having a stillborn [OR = 12 (1.8, 24.3), p = 0.011] compared to those who lived within 15 minutes travel time to the FTHG. We have shown for the first time, the influence of travel time to a major tertiary referral health facility on the occurrence of stillbirths in an urban city in, northeast Nigeria

Maintaining paediatric cardiac services during the COVID-19 pandemic in a developing country in sub-Saharan Africa: guidelines for a “scale up” in the face of a global “scale down”

The COVID-19 pandemic is currently ravaging the globe and the African continent is not left out. While the direct effects of the pandemic in regard to morbidity and mortality appear to be more significant in the developed world, the indirect harmful effects on already insufficient healthcare infrastructure on the African continent would in the long term be more detrimental to the populace. Women and children form a significant vulnerable population in underserved areas such as the sub-Saharan region, and expectedly will experience the disadvantages of limited healthcare coverage which is a major fall out of the pandemic. Paediatric cardiac services that are already sparse in various sub-Saharan countries are not left out of this downsizing. Restrictions on international travel for patients out of the continent to seek medical care and for international experts into the continent for regular mission programmes leave few options for children with cardiac defects to get the much-needed care.

There is a need for a region-adapted guideline to scale-up services to cater for more children with congenital heart disease (CHD) while providing a safe environment for healthcare workers, patients, and their caregivers. This article outlines measures adapted to maintain paediatric cardiac care in a sub-Saharan tertiary centre in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic and will serve as a guide for other institutions in the region who will inadvertently need to provide these services as the demand increases.

Prophylactic surgical drainage is associated with increased infection following intramedullary nailing of diaphyseal long bone fractures: A prospective cohort study in Nigeria

Introduction: Prophylactic surgical drains are commonly used in Nigeria following intramedullary nailing (IMN) of long bone diaphyseal fractures. However, evidence in the literature suggests that drains do not confer any benefit and predispose clean wounds to infection. This study compares outcomes between patients treated with and without prophylactic surgical drainage following diaphyseal long bone fractures treated with IMN. Methods: A prospective cohort study with randomization was conducted at a tertiary referral center in Enugu, Nigeria. Investigators included skeletally mature patients with diaphyseal long bone (femur, tibia, humerus) fractures treated with SIGN IMN. Patients followed-up at 5, 14, and 30 days post-operatively. The primary outcome was surgical site infection (SSI) rate. Secondary outcomes included post-operative pain at 6 and 12 h, need for blood transfusion, wound characteristics (swelling, ecchymosis, and gaping), need for dressing changes, and length of hospital stay. Results: Of the enrolled patients, 76 (96%) of 79 completed 30-day follow-up. SSI rate was associated with patients who received a prophylactic drain versus those who did not (23.7% vs. 10.5%, p = 0.007). There were no significant differences in transfusion need (p = 0.22), wound swelling (p = 0.74), wound ecchymosis (p = 1.00), wound gaping (p = 1.00), dressing change need (p = 0.31), post-operative pain at 6 h (p = 0.25) or 12 h (p = 0.57), or length of stay (p = 0.95). Discussion: Surgical drain placement following IMN of diaphyseal long bone fractures is associated with a significantly higher risk of SSI. Reducing surgical drain use following orthopaedic injuries in lower resource settings may translate to reduced infection rates.

Skull Base Surgery in a Large, Resource-Poor, Developing Country with Few Neurosurgeons: Prospects, Challenges, and Needs

BACKGROUND: Upon returning home to Nigeria from post residency fellowship training in skull base surgery, using expertise gained overseas, we applied appropriate treatment to various skull base pathologies. This is an audit of our initial experience.
METHODS: This is a prospective, descriptive survey of all the skull base pathologies operated on during 30 months. Clinical-demographic data, surgical procedures, and the postoperative outcome are presented statistically. Simple inferential statistics was performed for associations deemed significant at P < 0.05.
RESULTS: Fifty-one individuals (27 men and 24 women, mean age 32 years) were operated on for skull base pathologies. Clinical presentation had a mean symptom duration of 22 months
and a poor clinical status in more than 60% of the patients. Congenital, infective, traumatic, and neoplastic lesions were encountered, including craniofacial malignancies operated on jointly with other craniofacial surgeons. Other intracranial neurosurgical pathologies like jugular foramen and brain stem tumors, and meningiomas of various skull base corridors, including the cavernous sinus and the foramen magnum, were encountered. Our skull base dissections were craniofacial in 23.5% of cases, anterolateral in 33.3%, midbasal in 15.7%, and posterior fossa in 27.5% of patients. Surgery was successful in 86.3%. The patients’ status improved on hospital discharge in 70.6% of cases. The postoperative outcome was significantly worse (P 0.03) in those patients with postbasal lesions with poor clinical performance index preoperatively.
CONCLUSIONS: In spite of the many inherent challenges of a typical developing country health system, there are great

Open heart surgery in Nigeria; a work in progress

There has been limited success in establishing Open Heart Surgery programmes in Nigeria despite the high prevalence of structural heart disease and the large number of Nigerian patients that travel abroad for Open Heart Surgery. The challenges and constraints to the development of Open Heart Surgery in Nigeria need to be identified and overcome. The aim of this study is to review the experience with Open Heart Surgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and highlight the challenges encountered in developing this programme.

This is a retrospective study of patients that underwent Open Heart Surgery in our institution. The source of data was a prospectively maintained database. Extracted data included patient demographics, indication for surgery, euroscore, cardiopulmonary bypass time, cross clamp time, complications and patient outcome.

51 Open Heart Surgery procedures were done between August 2004 and December 2011. There were 21 males and 30 females. Mean age was 29 ± 15.6 years. The mean euroscore was 3.8 ± 2.1. The procedures done were Mitral Valve Replacement in 15 patients (29.4%), Atrial Septal Defect Repair in 14 patients (27.5%), Ventricular Septal Defect Repair in 8 patients (15.7%), Aortic Valve Replacement in 5 patients (9.8%), excision of Left Atrial Myxoma in 2 patients (3.9%), Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in 2 patients (3.9%), Bidirectional Glenn Shunts in 2 patients (3.9%), Tetralogy of Fallot repair in 2 patients (3.9%) and Mitral Valve Repair in 1 patient (2%). There were 9 mortalities (17.6%) in this series. Challenges encountered included the low volume of cases done, an unstable working environment, limited number of trained staff, difficulty in obtaining laboratory support, limited financial support and difficulty in moving away from the Cardiac Mission Model.

The Open Heart Surgery program in our institution is still being developed but the identified challenges need to be overcome if this program is to be sustained. Similar challenges will need to be overcome by other cardiac stakeholders if other OHS programs are to be developed and sustained in Nigeria