Addressing priorities for surgical research in Africa: implementation of a multicentre cloud‐based peri‐operative registry in Ethiopia.


In resource‐constrained settings, where inequalities in access to and quality of surgical care results in excess mortality, peri‐operative care registries are uncommon. A south‐south collaboration supported the implementation of a context specific, clinician‐led, multicentre real‐time peri‐operative registry in Ethiopia. Peri‐operative information, including the Ethiopian Ministry of Health’s national ‘Saving Lives through Safe Surgery initiative’, was linked to real‐time dashboards, providing clinicians and administrators with information on service utilisation, surgical access, national surgical key performance indicators and measures of quality of care. We recruited four hospitals representing 285 in‐patient beds from the Amhara and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples regions and Addis Ababa city, and reported on 1748 consecutive surgical cases from April 2019 to April 2020. Key performance indicators included: compliance with the World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist in 1595 (92.1%) surgical cases; adverse events during anaesthesia in 33 (3.1%) cases; and surgical site infections in 21 (2.0%) patients. This collaboration has successfully implemented a multicentre digital surgical registry that can enable measurement of key performance indicators for surgery and evaluation of peri‐operative outcomes. The peri‐operative registry is currently being rolled out across the Amhara region and Addis Ababa city administration. It will provide continuous granular healthcare information necessary to empower clinicians to drive context‐specific priorities for service improvement and research, in collaboration with national stakeholders and international research consortiums.

Perioperative care capacity in East Africa: results of an Ethiopian national cross-sectional survey


Background:  Provision of safe surgery has gained focus recently. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for the strengthening of surgical and anesthesia services as a universal health coverage component. The same year, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MOH) launched the “Saving Lives through Safe Surgery” initiative to prioritize and scale-up surgical services. This study provides an updated overview of perioperative facilities’ status to facilitate the identification of future focus areas.

Methods: An online national cross-sectional survey was conducted in September–November 2020, incorporating elements from recognized surgical and anesthesia facility assessment tools to assess infrastructure, workforce, and availability of resources across Ethiopian government facilities.

Results: Responses were received from 81/289 (28%) facilities, conducting a mean of 6.9 (range: 1–37) surgeries per day. All regions were represented. There were shortages in specialty surgical, obstetric, and anesthesiology workforce, functioning anesthesia machines, airway equipment, recommended monitoring devices, and capnography. Shortages of analgesia, anesthesia, and emergency medications were reported. Sixty-eight (84%) facilities had a postanesthetic care unit with a mean of 3.1 (range: 1–15) beds. The presence of trained nurses, oxygen, monitoring devices, equipment, medications, and postoperative care guidelines was minimal.

Conclusions: This study provides an updated overview of surgical capacity in Ethiopia. Despite the expansion of surgical access, there are ongoing resource deficits. Expansion of surgical capacity should be accompanied by a similar expansion in the provision of adequately equipped and staffed postanesthetic care units and a focus on postoperative care. Further reading:

National assessment of Critical Care – In submission

A detailed assessment and analysis of all intensive care units across Ethiopia. We report details of substandard and limited provision of critical care, and highlight those areas requiring improvement.