Background: The world's poorest 2 billion people, benefit from no more than about 3.5% of the world's operative procedures. The burden of surgical disease is greatest in Africa, where operations could save many lives. Previous facility-based studies have described operative procedure caseloads, but prospective studies investigating interventions, indications and perioperative mortality rates (POMR), are rare.
Methods: A prospective, questionnaire-based collection of data on all major and minor operative procedures was undertaken at 2 hospitals in rural Uganda covering 4 and 3 months in 2011, respectively. Data included patient characteristics, indications for the interventions performed, and outcome after surgery.
Results: We recorded 2,790 operative procedures on 2,701 patients. The rate of major operative procedures per 100,000 population per year was 225. Patients undergoing major operative procedures (n = 1,051) were mostly women (n = 923; 88%) because most interventions were performed owing to pregnancy-related complications (n = 747; 67%) or gynecologic conditions (n = 114; 10%). General operative interventions registered included herniorrhaphy (n = 103; 9%), exploratory laparotomy (n = 60; 5%), and appendectomy (n = 31; 3%). The POMR for major operative procedures was 1 % (n = 14) and was greatest after exploratory laparotomy (13%; n = 8) and caesarean delivery (1%; n = 4). Most deaths = 16) were a result of sepsis (n = 10-11) or hemorrhage (n = 3-5).
Conclusion: The volume of surgery was low relative to the size of the catchment population. The POMR was high. Exploratory laparotomy and caesarean section were identified as high-risk procedures. Increased availability of blood, improved pen operative monitoring, and early intervention could be part of a solution to reduce the POMR
2015. Vol. 158, no 1, 7-16 p.