Skip to main content

Optimal resources to reduce the unmet surgical needs in low-resource settings

To the Editor:

The Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery, a consortium of providers and experts recently produced, through consensus, a document on Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgery (OReCS) [1]. Hitherto, there has not been consensus on resources required to equip surgical facilities for children in low-resource settings in spite of the magnitude of unmet surgical needs [1].

Resolution A68/15 of the World Health Assembly [2], which was based on findings from the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery [3] and others, involves strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anesthesia but did not emphasize the role of children’s surgical care in achieving universal health coverage (UHC). Children have different perioperative concerns from adults, hence requiring special considerations if the goals of UHC are to be attained and safe surgery ensured. Children are vulnerable and often lack access to surgical care [1, 3, 4]; this is most evident in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where as much as 95% lack access to surgical care [4].

The OReCS publication highlights the benefits of safe surgery in children and facilities available for surgical care and provides template for functioning and equipment required for levels of basic, intermediate, and complex/advanced care [1]. Healthcare facilities were designated according to the specification of care expected, the range of procedures to be performed, and the surgical instruments and equipment available to safely perform the operations.

Optimal resources required for the surgical care of children include trained human resources for health; skills in clinical care, surgery, nursing, and anesthesia; physical infrastructures and equipment; and supplies [1]. Provision of resources based on designation of level of care each facility, responsibilities, and clinical capabilities; provision of anesthesia for different age groups and complexities of conditions; and institution of mechanisms for quality assurance will be a good step in improving access to care. It also provides an opportunity for incorporation of children’s surgical care into National Surgical, Obstetric and Anesthesia Plans, in low-resource settings.

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.

Abbreviations

GICS:

Global Initiatives for Children’s Surgery

OReCS:

Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgery

UHC:

Universal Health Coverage

References

  1. 1.

    GICS Collaborators. Optimal resources for children’s surgical care: executive summary. World J Surg. 2019;43:978–80.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as a component of universal health coverage. Geneva: 68th World Health Assembly, 2015. Available at: http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA68/A68_R15-en.pdf. Accessed April 22, 2019.

  3. 3.

    Meara JG, Leather AJ, Hagander L, et al. Global Surgery 2030: evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic development. Lancet. 2015;386:569–624.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Alkire BC, Raykar NP, Shrime MG, et al. Global access to surgical care: a modelling study. Lancet Glob Health. 2015;3:e316–23.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The Global Initiatives for Children’s Surgery is acknowledged for the support.

Funding

No funding was received for this letter to the editor.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Consortia

Contributions

TAL is the sole author of this manuscript. The author read and approved the final manuscript.

Author’s information

TAL is a pediatric surgeon working at a university teaching hospital in sub-Saharan Africa.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Taiwo A. Lawal.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The author declares that he has no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lawal, T.A. Optimal resources to reduce the unmet surgical needs in low-resource settings. Ann Pediatr Surg 15, 3 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43159-019-0001-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Children’s surgery
  • Global surgery
  • Resources
  • Unmet surgical needs