Paediatric Surgery

  • 1.3 billion children worldwide lack access to safe surgery and anaesthesia
  • 85% of children in low-income countries are likely to need surgery by age 15
  • Many paediatric surgical conditions can be treated with simple surgical interventions, but if left untreated, can cause lifelong disability, or death
  • Approximately half the population of LMICs is under the age of 15

Global action to reduce child mortality was explicitly called for by the 4th Millennium Development Goal. However, support for surgical disease and pain were nearly completely absence. More data continue to emerge that prove the global burden of surgical disease has been drastically underestimated by donors and the global health community at large. Similarly, the diproportionate burden of surgical disease that affects children is alarming and requires immediate action.

Currently four pediatric surgeons serve Uganda, which should have approximately 200 surgeons based on population estimates. Similarly only a few physician anesthetists have advanced training in pediatric anesthesia. We have completed country-wide needs assessment and multiple stakeholders meetings (2015 Paediatric stakeholder meeting Uganda) to identify a scalable strategies to increase pediatric surgical care capacity in Uganda and similar settings. Key elements of this plan include:

  • Creation of a Regional Paediatric Surgery Fellowship in Uganda with partners at UBC – to increase the number of Ugandan Paediatric surgeons from 4 to 15 in the next 5 years (one for each regional referral hospital)(UBC Partnership)
  • Creation of Paediatric Anaesthesia Fellowships by UBC – to increase the number of paediatric anaesthetists from 4 to 15 in the next 5 years (UBC Partnership)
  • Creation of Centers of Excellence in Paediatric Surgical Care (In progress)
  • Dissemination of data on paediatric surgical disease burden
  • Partnership with Masters of Medicine and non-physician training programs to enhance curriculum relevant to paediatric surgery and anaesthesia
  • Support research and health policy though local training and project funding
  • Support career development for future leaders in paediatric surgery in the region