Prevalence of Pediatric Surgical Conditions Across Somaliland.
Importance: Although surgical conditions are increasingly recognized as causing a significant health care burden among adults in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the burden of surgical conditions among children in LMICs remains poorly defined. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of pediatric surgical conditions across Somaliland using a nationwide community-based household survey. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study was conducted through a national community-based sampling survey from August through December 2017 in Somaliland. Participants were 1503 children surveyed using the Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical Need (SOSAS). Main Outcomes and Measures: The SOSAS survey contains 2 components, including a section on household demographics, deaths, and financial information and sections querying children's history of surgical conditions. Results: In this cross-sectional study that included 1503 children (55.6% male; mean [SE] age, 6.4 [0.1] years), 221 surgical conditions were identified among 196 children, yielding a mean (SE) prevalence of pediatric surgical conditions of 12.2% (1.5%). Only 53 of these 221 surgical conditions (23.7%) had been surgically corrected at the time of the survey. The most common conditions encountered were congenital anomalies (33.8%) and wound-related injuries (24.6%). Nationally, an estimated 256 745 children have surgical conditions, with an estimated 88 345 to 199 639 children having unmet surgical needs. Conclusions and Relevance: Using national sampling, this study found that children have a high burden of surgical conditions in Somaliland. These data highlight the need for a scale-up of pediatric surgical infrastructure and resources to provide the needed surgical care for children in LMICs.
Concepcion, T; Mohamed, M; Dahir, S; Adan Ismail, E; Poenaru, D; Rice, HE; Smith, ER; Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery,
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