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Global Paediatric Surgery

In the final couple of weeks of April, we will be focusing on paediatrics. We look forward to sharing podcast episodes and profiles on three inspirational surgeons. Until then, please enjoy these two research articles, summarised by our university reps, and a short video on setting up a paediatric cancer care program in Tanzania.


Research Spotlight

Investing in all of Our Children: Global Pediatric Surgery for the Twenty-First Century

Tamara N. Fitzgerald, Henry E. Rice, 2019

Summary by Suraj Gandhi, 4th year student at University of Leicester Medical School

UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.2 aims to end preventable deaths of children under 5 years old by 2030. Developing surgical care for children across the world is a key step towards this.

In this publication, Fitzwilliam and Rice point to evidence that such improvements are practical and can be effective. Progress so far has been achieved with a diverse set of interventions ranging from improved surgical training to the curation of national datasets and the creation of donor groups which contribute to surgical infrastructure. Despite this, mortality from treatable paediatric surgical conditions remains unacceptably high in areas without accessible surgical care.

Aiming to highlight areas of progress and areas where more work is needed, the authors collated a series of reports from people on the forefront of the drive to advance global paediatric surgery. Topics include:

- The varying requirements of different areas when it comes to developing their paediatric surgery services.

- The infrastructure necessary to provide these services to a high quality.

- The economic benefits of providing adequate surgical care to children.

- Metrics to describe progress and deficits in an area’s paediatric surgery service.

- The role of inter-speciality collaboration in paediatric surgery.

- The Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery’s progress in developing priorities in global paediatric surgery.

- Ethical considerations in improving paediatric surgery systems in low- and middle- income countries.

Read via the link below or find the PDF here.

Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery: A Model of Global Collaboration to Advance the Surgical Care of Children

Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery, 2019

Summary by Conor Boylan, 4th year student at University of Birmingham Medical School

This article is a summary of the principles and actions of the Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery (GICS); a multinational organisation that works to “define and promote optimal resources for children’s surgery in resource-poor regions of the world by engaging providers of children’s surgical care globally”.

GICS was established in 2016 and now consists of 266 members from 44 countries, the majority of which are low- and middle-income (LMICs). The group recognise that while there is great international focus on tackling issues such as AIDS, TB and malaria in LMICs, there is little focus on surgical ailments such as congenital anomalies, which in fact are a rising cause of paediatric death worldwide.

Through its pillars of infrastructure, service delivery, training, and research the group have established several key projects which aim to improve surgical care of children globally. These include training programmes, collaborative research projects and charities designed to equip paediatric operating rooms.

GICS aims to solve a key issue globally and does so using a collaborative approach that involves the countries that will benefit most in the heart of its decision-making. It is exciting to watch this project develop and see the good that will come of it.

Read via the link below or find the PDF here.



Global Oncology: Development of a Comprehensive Cancer Care Program in Tanzania

Kristin Schroeder, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Paediatrics and Global Health at Duke Global Health Institute


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