Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 219–222 | Cite as

The scope of emergency paediatric surgery in Tanzania

Original Article

Abstract

This article helps to outline the scope of emergency paediatric operations in Tanzania by quantifying the nature of cases seen over a 12 month period in a teaching hospital. Data collected at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) showed that operative paediatric surgical emergencies represented 4% of all paediatric admissions. Of emergency procedures, 47 (43%) were for congenital abnormalities, 32 (29%) for infections, 19 (17%) for trauma and 12 (11%) for other reasons. Emergency operative mortality was 34%. The challenges to meet patient needs in the African setting include: a scarcity of surgeons with training in paediatric surgery, the variety of conditions which all surgeons must manage, a lack of equipment (e.g., neonatal ventilators) and educational resources. Potential avenues for overcoming these challenges are discussed, including the promotion of paediatric surgery as a profession, by the expansion of existing facilities, promoting African associations of paediatric surgery and highlighting the need for resources and continued education and training. We argue that surgical training in developing countries should include the skills needed to treat those paediatric conditions most likely to require urgent surgical intervention.

Keywords

Paediatric surgery Africa Emergency 

References

  1. 1.
    Bickler S (2006) Paediatric surgery in the developing world. J Pediatr Surg 40:1969–1970CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Emeh EA, Dogo PM, Nmadu PT (2001) Emergency neonatal surgery in a developing country. Pediatr Surg Int 17:448–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (2002 census)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tanzania National Health Accounts, May 2001 (Ministry of health, Republic of Tanzania)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hospital Statistics (2000) KCMCGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bickler SW Rode H, Kyambi J (2001) Pediatric surgery in sub-Saharan Africa. Pediatr Surg Int 17:442–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bickler SW, Rode H (2002) Surgical services for children in developing countries. Bull World Health Organ 80:829–835PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bickler SW, Sanno-Duanda (2000) Epidemiology of paediatric surgical admissions to a government referral hospital in Gambia. Bull World Health Organ 78:1330–1336PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Millar AJW, Rode H, Davies MRQ, Cywes S (1993) Paediatric surgery in the RSA—practice and training. S Afr Med J 83:85–88PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ameh EA (2003) Pediatric surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa (letter). Pediatr Surg Int 19:128PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ameh EA, Chirdan LB (2001) Paediatric surgery in the rural setting: prospect and feasibility. West Afr Med J 20:52–55Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Driller C, Holschneider AM (2003) Training in pediatric surgery—a comparison of 24 countries in Europe and other countries around the world. Eur J Pediatr Surg 13:73–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Emeh EA, Olusanya A, Nmadu PT (2006) Paediatric surgery in Nigeria. J Pediatr Surg 41:542–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mhando S, Lyamuya S, Lakhoo K (2006) Challenges in developing paediatric surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa. Pediatr Surg Int 22:425–427PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dewan PA (2000) The development of paediatric surgery in Papua New Guinea. P N J Med J 40:4060–4064Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tumaini University and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC)MoshiTanzania
  2. 2.Department of Paediatric SurgeryChildren’s Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital and University of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations