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World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 36, Issue 12, pp 2811–2818 | Cite as

A Survey of Surgical Capacity in Rural Southern Nigeria: Opportunities for Change

  • Jaymie A. HenryEmail author
  • Olubayo Windapo
  • Adam L. Kushner
  • Reinou S. Groen
  • Benedict C. Nwomeh
Article

Abstract

Background

Despite growing recognition of the massive surgical burden of disease, unmet need, and disparities in access to care in many African countries, little is known about their capacity to deliver surgical, obstetric, emergency, and anesthetic care, particularly in the rural areas where up to 50 % of the population lives. This study aimed to quantify the surgical capacity of select healthcare facilities in rural southern Nigeria in five key areas: Workforce, Infrastructure, Skill, Equipment, and Supplies.

Methods

We assessed the surgical capacity of 41 private, rural hospitals in southern Nigeria using the Personnel, Infrastructure, Procedures, Equipment, and Supplies survey tool developed by Surgeons OverSeas. The survey was administered to surgical practitioners during their annual conference in November 2011.

Results

Among the 41 hospitals surveyed, general practitioners (52.1 %) constituted most of the surgical workforce. Only one anesthesiologist was available in 16 secondary hospitals. Although most of the primary and secondary hospitals had running water (82.3 %), a designated emergency room (80.5 %), and medical records (95.9 %), only 50.3 % of all hospitals had electricity through the power grid. Also, only 37.5 % of all facilities had a blood bank and 43.8 % had an X-ray machine. Common surgical procedures were done by most of the facilities; however, cricothyroidotomy, clubfoot repair, and obstetric fistula repair were scarcely done. Less than half of the facilities provided general anesthesia, only 20 % have an anesthesia machine, and 44.5 % have a pulse oximeter.

Conclusion

Severe shortages in key areas should motivate stakeholders to devote more effort and resources to strengthening surgical capacity in rural southern Nigeria.

Keywords

Clubfoot Rural Hospital Imperforate Anus Obstetric Fistula Ponseti Method 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Conflict of interest

None.

Funding

None.

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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaymie A. Henry
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olubayo Windapo
    • 2
  • Adam L. Kushner
    • 3
    • 4
  • Reinou S. Groen
    • 3
    • 5
  • Benedict C. Nwomeh
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.EducationSurgeons OverSeas (SOS)San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Polybonde Medical ServicesLagosNigeria
  3. 3.Surgeons OverSeas (SOS)New YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Royal Tropical InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of Pediatric SurgeryNationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA

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