Neonatal surgery in Sub Saharan Africa: challenges and solutions


Background: The last two decades have witnessed a gradual attempt at solving the manpower problems facing neonatal surgical care in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Unfortunately this has not translated to a reduction in the very high morbidity and mortality facing neonatal surgical care as there are other challenges bedeviling the practice of neonatal surgery in the region.

Purpose: This review examined these challenges which include poor obstetric care leading to late presentation, lack of appropriate equipment and facilities, poor funding and lack of awareness about availability of neonatal surgical services as well as proffer solutions to overcome the challenges in order to minimize the high morbidity and mortality.

Conclusion: Adequate funding should be provided by the government and other funding agencies for proper training of professionals involved in the care of the surgical neonate, provision of requisite equipment and facilities, good obstetric care and advocacy to improve awareness as well as encourage early presentation.

Keywords: Surgical neonate, care, challenges, Sub Saharan Africa, mortality

Contexte: Les deux dernières décennies ont été témoins d’une tentative progressive à résoudre les problèmes de main-d’œuvre rencontrés dans les soins chirurgicaux néonatals dans de nombreuses régions de l’Afrique subsaharienne (ASS). Malheureusement, cela ne s’est pas traduit à une réduction de morbidité et de mortalité très élevées auxquelles sont confrontés les soins chirurgicaux néonatals, vu qu’il existe d’autres défis qui endommagent la pratique de la chirurgie néonatale dans la région.

Objectif: Cette revue a examiné ces défis qui incluent des soins obstétriques pitoyables conduisant à une présentation tardive, un manque de matériel et de facilités appropriés, un financement insuffisant et un manque de sensibilisation à la disponibilité des services chirurgicaux néonatals ainsi que des solutions proposées pour surmonter les défis afin de minimiser la morbidité et la mortalité élevée.

Conclusion: Un financement adéquat devraient être fourni par le gouvernement et autres agences de financement pour la formation appropriée des professionnels impliqués dans le soin chirurgical des nouveau-nés, la fourniture d’équipements et de facilités nécessaires, de bons soins obstétricaux et défense pour améliorer la sensibilisation et encourager une présentation précoce.

Mots-clés: Chirurgie néonatal, soins, défis, Afrique subsaharienne, mortalité

Correspondence: Dr. O.O. Ogundoyin, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Universty of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. E-mail:



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