Association between triage level and outcomes at Médecins Sans Frontières trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, 2015

Background Five million people die annually due to injuries; an increasing part is due to armed conflict in low-income and middle-income countries, demanding resolute emergency trauma care. In Afghanistan, a low-income country that has experienced conflict for over 35 years, conflict related trauma is a significant public health problem. To address this, the non-governmental organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) set up a trauma centre in Kunduz (Kunduz Trauma Centre (KTC)). MSF’s standardised emergency operating procedures include the South African Triage Scale (SATS). To date, there are few studies that assess how triage levels correspond with outcome in low-resource conflict settings

Aim This study aims to assess to what extent SATS triage levels correlated to outcomes in terms of hospital admission, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and mortality for patients treated at KTC.

Method and materials This retrospective study used routinely collected data from KTC registries. A total of 17 970 patients were included. The outcomes were hospital admission, ICU admission and mortality. The explanatory variable was triage level. Covariates including age, gender and delay to arrival were used. Logistic regression was used to study the correlation between triage level and outcomes.

Results Out of all patients seeking care, 28.7% were triaged as red or orange. The overall mortality was 0.6%. In total, 90% of those that died and 79% of ICU-admitted patients were triaged as red.

Conclusion The risk of positive and negative outcomes correlated with triage level. None of the patients triaged as green died or were admitted to the ICU whereas 90% of patients who died were triaged as red.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Admissions for Twelve High-Burden Diseases and Five Common Procedures in the Philippines: A National Health Insurance Database Study 2019-2020

The Philippines has the highest cumulative COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Western-Pacific. To explore the broader health impacts of the pandemic, we assessed the magnitude and duration of changes in hospital admissions for 12 high-burden diseases and the utilization of five common procedures by lockdown stringency, hospital level, and equity in patient access.

Our analysis used Philippine social health insurance data filed by 1,295 hospitals in 2019 and 2020. We calculated three descriptive statistics of percent change comparing 2020 to the same periods in 2019: (1) year-on-year, (2) same-month-prior-year, and (3) lockdown periods.

Disease admissions declined (-54%) while procedures increased (13%) in 2020 versus 2019. The increase in procedures was caused by hemodialysis surpassing its 2019 utilization levels in 2020 by 25%, overshadowing declines for C-section (-5%) and vaginal delivery (-18%). Comparing months in 2020 to the same months in 2019, the declines in admissions and procedures occurred at pandemic onset (March-April 2020), with some recovery starting May, but were generally not reversed by the end of 2020. Non-urgent procedures and respiratory diseases faced the largest declines in April 2020 versus April 2019 (range: -60% to -70%), followed by diseases requiring regular follow-up (-50% to -56%), then urgent conditions (-4% to -40%). During the strictest (April-May 2020) and relaxed (May-December 2020) lockdown periods compared to the same periods in 2019, the declines among the poorest (-21%, -39%) were three-times greater than in direct contributors (-7%, -12%) and two-times more in the south (-16%, -32%) than the richer north (-8%, -10%). Year-on-year admission declines across the 12 diseases and procedures (except for hemodialysis) was highest for level three hospitals. Compared to public hospitals, private hospitals had smaller year-on-year declines for procedures, because of increases in utilization in lower level private hospitals.

COVID-19’s prolonged impact on the utilization of hospital services in the Philippines suggests a looming public health crisis in countries with frail health systems. Through the periodic waves of COVID-19 and lockdowns, policymakers must employ a whole-of-health strategy considering all conditions, service delivery networks, and access for the most vulnerable.

Maternal knowledge and attitudes to childhood hearing loss and hearing services in the Pacific Islands: A cross-sectional survey protocol for urban and rural/remote Samoa

The successful implementation of ear and hearing health services for children depends on the support and engagement of primary caregivers. The World Health Organization recommends childhood hearing screening programs for all member states to enable early detection and intervention for children with hearing loss. Ear and hearing specialists are limited in the Pacific Islands, a region with one of the highest global rates of ear disease and hearing loss. Given that a significant proportion of childhood hearing loss is preventable through public health measures, collaboration with health promotion activities is recommended to improve primary caregiver knowledge of avoidable ear and hearing disorders among infants and young children. Previous work has examined the knowledge and attitudes of parents in an urban Pacific Island settings, and this study will investigate for differences between urban and rural/remote Pacific Island populations.

Study design
Cross-sectional survey.

Questionnaire administered to mothers attending immunization clinics with their infants in urban (Apia) and rural/remote (Savai’i) Samoa. A 25-item questionnaire was formally translated from the original English into Samoan by an accredited translator in collaboration with an Ear, Nose and Throat registered nurse. It will be administered in a semi-structured interview style by a Health Promotion Officer in Samoan. The participating mothers are required to respond with ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘unsure.’ The questions assess knowledge of biomedical etiology of hearing impairment (9 questions), beliefs regarding non-biomedical etiology of hearing impairment (2 questions), knowledge of otitis media and its risk factors (5 questions), knowledge of hearing loss identification and intervention (4 questions), and attitudes towards hearing services for children (6 questions).

Not applicable. Data to be collected.

We publish these protocols to facilitate similar studies in other Low- and Middle-Income Countries, and especially among our Pacific Island neighbours.

Road Traffic Injuries in Malawi with special focus on the role of alcohol

Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the principal causes of road traffic crashes (RTCs) [1]. The use of alcohol is also a risk factor for other road users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists. The association of alcohol in injurious and fatal RTCs has been well documented in most high-income countries, but data for low- and middle-income countries is scarce, particularly for African countries [2]. The study was a collaborative effort between Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and Oslo University Hospital (OUH), with the financial support of UK Aid through the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) hosted by the World Bank, the International Council on Alcohol Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS) and the Norwegian Council for Road Safety (Trygg Trafikk). The objective of the study was to generate new knowledge about road traffic injuries in Malawi and the extent of traffic accidents related to alcohol use, to increase capacity to conduct alcohol testing, and develop a database for the findings, which in turn will form the basis for future policymaking to reduce traffic accidents.
The objectives were achieved through collecting data on patients who sought treatment after road traffic crashes and admitted to the Emergency Department at KCH in Lilongwe, Malawi. A questionnaire was developed for data collection in cooperation between the project groups in Norway and Malawi. The data included basic information about the patients, alcohol use before the injury, and information about accident circumstances, including types of road users and vehicles involved. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. All weekdays, weekends and nights were covered. Alcohol was measured using a breathalyzer or saliva test for those who were not able to blow. Knowledge and training of local KCH employees to perform alcohol testing and record data were an important aspect of this study.
The project was approved by the National Health Science Research Committee (NHSRC) in Malawi. The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics in Norway was consulted, and their conclusion was that no formal application was needed, with reference to the Norwegian Health Research Act Section, §2 and 4a. A Data Protection Impact Assessment was performed as required by NIPH. There were 1251 patients in the study, representing nearly 95 per cent of those who were asked to participate. The results show a rather high prevalence of alcohol use among several injured road user groups (totally about 25 percent), particularly among those injured during weekend nights and evenings, but also during weekday evenings and nights. It was estimated that about 15 per cent of injured motor vehicle drivers and riders had BACs above the legal limit of 0.8 grams/L at the time of the crash. The findings also show that it is important to focus on bus/minibus/lorry drivers who often carry passengers, where about one out of five tested positive for alcohol. It is worth noting that pedestrians had the highest prevalence of alcohol use before being injured. They constitute a vulnerable group; they often walk in the dark with no road lighting, no pavements, walkways or safe places to cross
the road. Combined with alcohol use their injury risk is even higher. The collected data can contribute to future road traffic safety procedures and measures. The long-term goal is to contribute to sustainable development goal 3, target 3.6, to reduce by half the number of global RTC deaths and injuries. Road Traffic Inuries in Malawi • Norwegian Institute of Public Health This study shows the importance of collecting adequate and relevant data for health authorities particularly in low- and middle-income countries in battling the challenge of alcohol-related road traffic crashes, deaths and injuries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a
number of recommendations were presented to Malawian authorities at a virtual seminar held in autumn 2020.

Timeliness of diagnosis of breast and cervical cancers and associated factors in low-income and middle-income countries: a scoping review protocol

Breast and cervical cancer are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in women globally, with disproportionately high burdens in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). While the incidence of both cancers increases across LMICs, many cases continue to go undiagnosed or diagnosed late. The aim of this review is to comprehensively map the current evidence on the time to breast or cervical cancer diagnosis and its associated factors in LMICs.

Methods and analysis
This scoping review (ScR) will be informed by Arksey and O’Malley’s enhanced ScR methodology framework. It will be reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews. We will conduct a comprehensive search of the following electronic databases: MEDLINE (via PubMed), Cochrane Library, Scopus and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). Two reviewers will independently screen all abstracts and full texts using predefined inclusion criteria. All publications describing the time to diagnosis and its associated factors in the contexts of breast or cervical cancer will be considered for inclusion. Evidence will be narratively synthesised and analysed using a predefined conceptual framework.

Ethics and dissemination
As this is a ScR of publicly available data, with no primary data collection, it will not require ethical approval. Findings will be disseminated widely through a peer-reviewed publication and forums such as conferences and community engagement sessions. This review will provide a user-friendly evidence summary for understanding the enormity of diagnostic delays and associated factors for breast and cervical cancers in LMICs, while helping to inform policy actions and implementation of interventions for addressing such delays.

Analysing a Global Health Education Framework for Public Health Education Programs in India

Academic global health is of increasing interest to educators and students in public health but competency domains as well as education pathways that deliver this training, are still being identified and refined. This thesis was undertaken using an education program development paradigm and aimed to analyse the factors shaping global health education in India by examining multistakeholder perspectives. The research framework consisted of four components: curriculum and content, students, faculty and key experts, and employers. Studies captured the perspectives of students through a survey and focus group discussions, faculty and other key experts through semi-structured interviews, and employers through job advertisement analysis. We identified eleven global health competency domains focussed on three aspects: foundational competencies, core public health skills and soft skills. Global health and public health were seen as interconnected, with global health having transnational context and public health having a more national focus. Global health was seen as a nascent concept in India and although integration of global health education into the public health curriculum was supported, there were concerns given that public health is still too new a discipline in India. Global health competencies were seen as a ‘step up’ from the public health competencies. Based on the results, a two-level approach to global health education is proposed for Indian public health institutions. The first approach, targeted at recent graduates, focuses on a ‘foundational global health education’ within public health programs such as an MPH. The second approach is an ‘Executive Global Health Certificate Program’, aimed at experienced public health professionals planning to enter the global health workforce. This thesis has outlined a framework for Indian and other LMIC institutions looking to expand the scope of public health education and intend to develop global health education programs.

Factors Associated with Serious Injuries among Adolescents in Ghana: Findings from 2012 Global School Health Survey

Introduction. Injuries are of public health concern and the leading cause of residual disability and death among teenagers, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In Ghana, the burden of injury among adolescents is under-reported. Hence, the study sought to determine the prevalence of serious injuries (SI) and the potential factors influencing these injuries among school children in Ghana. Methods. This study was conducted in Ghana among Junior High School (JHS) and senior high school students (SHS) using the 2012 Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) data. The GSHS employed two-stage cluster sampling method. Serious injuries (SI) and independent factors were measured via self-administered questionnaires. Pearson chi-square test between each explanatory variable and serious injuries was conducted and the level of statistical significance was set at 5%. The significant variables from the chi-square test were selected for multiple logistic regression analysis. Multiple logistic regression was performed to estimate the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) at 95% confidence interval (CI). Results. The prevalence of SI in the past 12 months was 66% [CI=61.8–70.2] . The most common cause of SI was fall, 36%. The common types of injuries were cut/stab wounds and broken/dislocated bone. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, after controlling for other variables, educational level (AOR = 0.64, CI = 0.44–0.90,  < 0.015), suicidal ideation (AOR = 1.58, CI = 1.00–2.48,  < 0.002), suicidal attempt (AOR = 1.88, CI = 1.29–2.72,  < 0.001), having at least one close friend (AOR = 1.49, CI = 1.17–1.89,  < 0.002), school truancy (AOR = 1.66, CI = 1.31–2.09,  < 0.000), smoking marijuana (AOR = 2.64, CI = 1.22–5.69), and amphetamine use (AOR = 2.95, CI = 1.46–5.69) were independently associated with SI. Conclusion. The findings of the study established a high prevalence of SI among adolescents in Ghana, with cut/stab wound and broken/dislocated bone being the most reported type of injuries. This study also revealed that factors such as educational level, suicidal ideation, suicidal attempt, at least one close friend, school truancy, smoking marijuana, and amphetamine use are associated with SI among the adolescents. Therefore, pragmatic interventional programs should be targeted at these factors to curb the rate of SI among junior and senior school students.

Global Neurosurgery and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons: Collaboration, Innovation, and Opportunity to Improve Care, Education, and Access.

Global neurosurgery encompasses the neurosurgical care and public health efforts to ensure timely and safe neurosurgical care access for all who need it (1). Over the past several decades, global neurosurgery has been championed by many individuals, which has led to a broader interest in developing larger collaborative, sustainable neurosurgical care efforts. On a national level, neurosurgical educational opportunities have grown through courses, online education, and fellowships. Given the growing global burden of neurosurgical disease, there is a significant opportunity and need for worldwide neurosurgery and neurosurgical education worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
To advance global neurosurgery from an educational standpoint, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), World Federation of Neurological Surgeons (WFNS), and other international neurosurgical societies have successfully developed programming. The CNS has led with a robust educational platform and offerings for neurosurgeons through in-person courses, fellowships, webinars, online case databases (2), publications, guidelines, and virtual grand rounds. SANS online education and questions modules offer neurosurgeons the ability to learn and self-test to advance their fund of knowledge, education, and continuing education

Demystifying the potential of Global surgery for Public health

Remarkable gains have been made in global health in the last 25 years, and surgical care is an integral component of healthcare systems for countries at all levels of development. Global surgery, which global surgery, which comprises clinical, educational, and research collaborations to improve surgical care between academic surgeons in high-income countries and low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) and their affiliated academic institutions, has grown significantly. Global surgery may resonate most with those in low-or-middle-income countries (LCMICs),where basic surgery needs are rarely met, and even the most trivial resource may be hard to obtain on a permanent or reliable basis. Therefore, considering this, this article provides an overview on various factors defining the interface between surgery and public health at a global level and discuss future directions.

Understanding the implementation (including women’s use) of maternity waiting homes in low-income and middle-income countries: a realist synthesis protocol

Maternity waiting homes in low-income and middle-income countries provide accommodation near health facilities for pregnant women close to the time of birth to promote facility-based birth and birth with a skilled professional and to enable timely access to emergency obstetric services when needed. To date, no studies have provided a systematic, comprehensive synthesis explaining facilitators and barriers to successful maternity waiting home implementation and whether and how implementation strategies and recommendations vary by context. This synthesis will systematically consolidate the evidence, answering the question, ‘How, why, for whom, and in what context are maternity waiting homes successfully implemented in low-income and middle-income countries?’.

Methods and analysis
Methods include standard steps for realist synthesis: determining the scope of the review, searching for evidence, appraising and extracting data, synthesising and analysing the data and developing recommendations for dissemination. Steps are iterative, repeating until theoretical saturation is achieved. Searching will be conducted in 13 electronic databases with results managed in Eppi-Reviewer V.4. There will be no language, study-type or document-type restrictions. Items documented prior to 1990 will be excluded. To ensure our initial and revised programme theories accurately reflect the experiences and knowledge of key stakeholders, most notably the beneficiaries, interviews will be conducted with maternity waiting home users/nonusers, healthcare staff, policymakers and programme designers. All data will be analysed using context–mechanism–outcome configurations, refined and synthesised to produce a final programme theory.

Ethics and dissemination
Ethics approval for the project will be obtained from the Mozambican National Bioethical Commission, Jimma University College of Health Sciences Institutional Review Board and the University of Saskatchewan Bioethical Research Ethics Board. To ensure results of the evaluation are available for uptake by a wide range of stakeholders, dissemination will include peer-reviewed journal publication, a plain-language brief, and conference presentations to stakeholders’ practice audiences.