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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 195-200

Bringing specialist paediatric surgical care to the doorstep in rural Ghana: A mobile paediatric surgery clinic

1 Department of Surgery, Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic Affiliated to St. Patrick's Missionary Hospital, Maase- Offinso, Ghana; Department of Pediatric Surgery, Kaplan Medical Center, Hebrew University, Rehovot, Jerusalem, Israel
2 Department of Surgery, Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic Affiliated to St. Patrick's Missionary Hospital, Maase- Offinso, Ghana; Department of African Studies, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
3 Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, UK
4 Department of Surgery, Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic Affiliated to St. Patrick's Missionary Hospital; Department of Surgery, St. Patrick's Missionary Hospital, Maase- Offinso, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Pro. Kokila Lakhoo
Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Room 6607, Level 6, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, England
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajps.AJPS_121_20

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Background: The contribution of paediatric surgical conditions to the total burden of disease in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has recently been highlighted and it is widely agreed that solutions are needed to provide access to safe and affordable surgery for these children. Materials and Methods: We present a simple, cost-effective model that brings paediatric surgery to the doorstep of remote areas and uses the existing health system structure in its entity to fulfil patients' needs. Mobile clinic teams whose members are integrated staff in affiliated mission hospitals reach out daily on a rotational basis to 10 health posts. The team receives continuous paediatric surgery education from a paediatric surgeon to diagnose and treat simple cases. Results: The catchment area of the Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic includes 832,984 inhabitants. From 2008 to 2019, 4362 children visited the mobile clinic with a median age of 4.41 years. Totally 4142 (95.0%) children could be treated in the health post, 150 (3.4%) children were taken to the affiliated missionary hospitals, 55 (1.3%) needed a third-level facility and 15 (0.3%) were taken to the traditional healers by the family. The common paediatric surgical diagnosis on outreach was deep soft-tissue infection/skin lesion for surgical treatment (672/23.8% children), followed by abdominal wall hernia/abdominal wall malformation (586/20.8% children) and gastrointestinal conditions (521/18.5%). Conclusion: This model of paediatric surgery mobile clinic includes capacity-building, task-sharing, outreach and proven 12-year sustainability. We recommend this model for paediatric surgery care in remote areas of LMIC's.

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