Nigeria Hub Honoured with Plaque for Work Completed to Reduce Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)

Lagos Hub receives plaque during Association of Surgeons of Nigeria event where the team were able to disseminate results from GlobalSurg 2, FALCON and CHEETAH trials

The event that took place at the Sheraton Lagos Hotel between the 24th to the 27th June was attended by a range of stakeholders from across the Nigerian surgical network, with the Nigeria Hub team being led by Professor Adesoji Ademuyiwa and Deputy Hub Director, Professor Adewale Adisa.

The team took part in an hour long session to talk about the outcomes of GlobalSurg 2, FALCON and CHEETAH trials, in addition to hosting a discussion on the need for implementation of the outcomes in Nigeria. During the discussion, the Nigeria Team called for the implementation of the outcomes by Nigeria policymakers as well as Hospital Executives across the country.

During the event, the Nigeria team were also awarded a plaque for the work undertaken by the Hub to recognise their efforts in reducing SSIs and improving patient care across Nigeria. The plaque was received by Professor Adewale Adisa on behalf of the team.

(L to R) Professor Adesoji Ademuyiwa and Professor Adewale Adisa hold plaque

You can view more information on the Nigeria Hub by clicking here.

UK Government Framework Highlights GSU as the Largest Surgical Collaborative in the World

Publication of the UK government’s strategy to become a world leader in improving global health discusses the role of the GSU in ‘Improving Surgical Outcomes’ case study

Created partly in response to the Sustainable Development Goals aspirations for 2030, the framework identifies shared objectives across government to strengthen global health security, reform the global health architecture, strengthen health systems in the UK and globally whilst ensuring the UK’s position as a leader in global health and science technology.

As part of the publication’s overview of the UK’s leadership on the advancement of science and technology, the framework showcases the GSU as a leading example of how the UK government are investing in global health research projects that address major global health challenges and the evolving global burden of disease.

The case study notes how the Unit’s findings have influenced global guidance for surgical services and also translated research evidence into real-world global health policy. The case study also highlights how the GSU now forms the largest surgical collaborative in the world, with work undertaken across a collaboration of surgical professionals and hospitals located in 116 countries.

You can read more on the UK government’s strategy on becoming a global leader in improving health globally and building resilience to future threats by clicking here.


Ghana Hub Meet Stakeholders to Develop National Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Prevention Toolkit

Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) event enables local community to work with the Ghana Hub to create a plan for the dissemination of SSI prevention

The meeting, orchestrated by the Ghana Hub took place at Holy Family Hospital in Techiman with the participants in attendance consisting of allied healthcare professionals from the Holy Family Hospital, alongside a well represented group of patients and accompanying members of the public – including patients undergoing treatment for a stoma and laparotomy.

The main objectives of the meeting were to:

  1. Engage patients and community members on what information would be most beneficial to include in the modules being developed
  2. Discuss the output (presentations, visuals) options that would be appropriate in community education
  3. Design a strategy to implement the modules

Discussions proved to be highly conducive for meeting the objectives identified, with various ideas and topics discussed in detail and subsequently taken on board by the Hub to help with the design and delivery of the toolkit. Some of the outcomes from the meeting included:

  1. Participants preference was for education on SSI prevention to start while they are at the admission stage, rather than on the day of discharge
  2. A phone number of a contactable designated doctor in the surgical team was identified as key for patients being referred from distant communities, to discuss any queries relating to treatment
  3. Relevant dates should be added to the modules due to sutures often being removed prematurely or later than expected, due to follow-up dressing not being done by the original surgical team
  4. Information on whether antibiotics and other medications would be given to the patients, in addition to information provided on benefits of the drug given and associated side-effects
  5. Recommended that facility managers address perceptions of patients regarding the rumoured attitude of staff towards patients that led to some delaying in seeking care
  6. General information should be included on how to prevent complications, other than SSIs

During the meeting, patients suggested that educational content could be delivered in the form of visual leaflets, handed over to patients at the point of discharge. Other resources that were decided on were educational videos made for the hospitals delivering care and a picture catalogue on SSI prevention that could be used by healthcare workers to educate patients on the subject during their stay in hospital.

(L to R) Ghana Hub CEI Lead, Dr Ebenezer Amofa discusses SSI prevention with various members of the local community in Techiman

You can find out more information on SSIs by visiting the FALCON and CHEETAH trial pages.

Rwanda Hub to Host Global Surgery Research Open Day

Rwanda Hub Team to host open day with a focus on “Improving Clinical Practices through Exhibiting Our Aptitude for Research”

The open day will take place at the Classic Hotel in Kigali on the 21st July with the event looking to attract various stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, surgeons, academicians, spoke leads and representatives from the wider community.

The event will provide a platform for research dissemination alongside community engagement activities that will also take place throughout the day. Attendees will also be able to gain an in-depth understanding on the Hub’s ongoing studies and also explore how produced research can be translated into practice.

In addition, there will also be an opportunity for researchers and students with an interest in research to grow their understanding of the subject, through mentoring and general support offered to the winners of the proposed research activities that were submitted in June.

Following the research proposal and abstract submission deadline that took place on the 21st June, winners will be notified on the 15th July, prior to the event taking place later in the month.

You can view the official flyer by clicking here.

For further info on the Rwanda Hub, click here.

Patients and Carers in Benin Discuss Surgical Site Infection Prevention

Benin Hub team meets with various patients and carers to discuss surgical site infection (SSI) during community engagement and involvement (CEI) consultation in Ouidah

The team, led by CEI Lead Josette Bonita had the opportunity to travel to Ouidah where the team were able to speak to a multitude of stakeholders, including allied health workers, patients and nurses. The meeting, held at Ouidah District Hospital, enabled attendees to discuss the French translation of the script of a video designed for the purpose of reducing SSIs in the community, as part of a global toolkit currently being developed as a cross-network collaboration.

Benin Hub Communications Lead Vivien Tenonto reported that the event went well, with a high level of active participation from patients and their carers, who are all looking forward to reviewing the final version of the video once it’s released in the coming weeks.

Surgical site infections are one of the leading causes of mortality and hospital re-admission for patients following surgical procedures globally. The CHEETAH trial, conducted across the GSU network, focused on the use of of separate sterile gloves and instruments for wound closure to help reduce such infections following surgery. Following on from completion of the trial, the dissemination of the trial’s findings have become a key priority for the majority of the GSU’s hubs, Benin inclusive.

You can find out more on the Benin team by clicking here.

GSU Leadership in UK for Strategic Development Meetings

GSU Hub Directors and Managers attend a multi stakeholder meeting on improving surgical training and delivery

Senior leadership teams from across our network came together in Surrey to meet collaborators on the Wellcome Leap SAVE: Surgery: assess, validate, programme. The meeting provided an excellent platform for progressing this programme which aims to advance training for laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery by harnessing advancements in training simulations and advanced patient monitoring.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for the partners from Benin, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Rwanda and the UK to have in-depth face-to-face discussions about the Unit’s work across its programmes

Following the meeting in Surrey, the Hub Managers travelled to Birmingham for a bespoke management training session that covered areas ranging from organisational communications strategies to trial closeout and dissemination.

It was a hugely productive and enjoyable week, with great progress made on all fronts.

NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery Wins Award for Engagement and Impact

NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery (GSU) wins coveted award for ‘External Engagement and Impact’ at Founders Awards’ ceremony, hosted at the University of Birmingham

The Rose Sidgwick Award for External Engagement and Impact was awarded to the GSU for their academic activity that has created meaningful change at a civic, national or international level through demonstrably delivering societal benefits whether economic, social, environmental or cultural. The work of the GSU has helped to improve access to safe and affordable surgery worldwide in addition to reducing global health inequalities in low- and middle-income countries.

The Unit have directed various international clinical studies and trials that have influenced global healthcare policies such as the use of separate sterile gloves and instruments for wound closure to reduce surgical site infection (SSI) rates in patients undergoing surgery during the CHEETAH trial. The GSU cohort’s work during the Covid-19 pandemic also resulted in a Guinness World Record for ‘Most authors on a single peer-reviewed academic paper’ for research undertaken globally to improve surgical care delivered for patients both during and following the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2.

Professor Dion Morton (Unit Co-Director) was able to receive the award on behalf of the team during the award ceremony that took place on Thursday 29th June at the Great Hall, located on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus in Birmingham, UK.

(L to R) Professor Dion Morton, Dr Audrey Nganwa and Professor Tom Pinkney join UoB Chancellor Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea and Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Tickell following the awards presentation

You can read the official UoB press release here.

Further information on the award and ceremony that took place can be found by clicking here.

National Institute of Health Research Visit Ghana Hub

Primary funder of the GSU visit Tamale and Accra with key highlights including discussions on the orchestration of the national hub network and key issues faced by the hub team

The UK based NIHR team were given the opportunity to travel to Ghana in May where they visited several locations within the national GSU network to view various operations taking place across both the hub team and wider spoke network. The first point of call took the team to Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) where the Deputy Director of Research (Dr Adam Atiku) was able to discuss how the hospital team were able to work in partnership with the Hub and collaborate with the NIHR in regard to achieving various objectives that benefited patients locally.

Following the hospital visit, the team were taken by Dr. Bellua Sam to the Ghana Hub Data Centre where he provided an overview of the centre’s setup and primary functions. The centre has received and trained other NIHR GSU hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Bellua Sam was able to demonstrate how this aspect of the organisation integrated research work from TTH and formed an integral part of the Department of Medical Research and Innovation at the Medical School. The Department has become a research–support centre for students, staff of the University for Development Studies, and staff of TTH.

For the final leg of the journey, the UK based group flew to Accra where they were able to join high-profile colleagues from the Ghana surgical arena during a roundtable discussion at the British High Commission, where various key issues facing the hub network were discussed as a collective. Colleagues from Ghana included Dr. Ijeoma Aja and Nurse Vera Agyekum-Gyimah from Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua Spoke as well as Dr. Ralph Armah (Spoke Lead) and Nurse Zelda Robertson (Research Nurse) from the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

Ghana Hub Director and GSU Co-Director, Professor Stephen Tabiri presents on the proposed CHEETAH trial dissemination and implementation plan at UDS International Conference Centre, Tamale during the NIHR team’s visit to Ghana

You can find out more on the Ghana Team by clicking here.

Checklist Developed by the GSU could Help Surgical Teams Prepare for Summer Pressures

Checklist developed using data from GreenSurg Collaborative led survey could help surgical teams in low- and middle-income countries to prepare for issues relating to global warming.

The “Operating Theatre Heatwaves Checklist” has been developed by researchers to summarise four key points that should be taken into account by clinical operation based teams when looking at the development of strategies to reduce any issues arising from prolonged periods of abnormally hot weather. The team were able to analyse data from 20 specialities across 140 UK hospitals that operated during the UK heatwave of July 2022.

From the data that was analysed during the study, the checklist asks the following questions which should be taken into account when looking to reduce the impact from prolonged periods of excessive heat:

  1. Do you have an operating theatre heatwave plan?
  2. Can your operating theatres function during heatwaves?
  3. Do you have a plan in the case of staff shortages?
  4. Is there a heatwave-related surge in emergency admissions – can surgical activity be maintained?

Members of the research team were able to present the checklist at the Faculty of Public Health Climate and Health Conference, taking place on the 21st June with a focus on the subject of “Adapting to a warming world from the UK perspective”, attended by a multitude of of professionals from the food systems, built environment and healthcare international industries.

The United Nations defines Climate Change as long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns that have been primarily driven by human activities, particularly since the 1800s. As climate change intensifies, the ramifications of raising temperatures (one of the effects of elevated greenhouse gas emissions derived from the burning of fossil fuels) will have a direct impact on us all, with the global healthcare sector being particularly prone to issues arising from increasing global temperatures.

You can view the full checklist by clicking here.

You can also view the original GreenSurg publication Elective surgical services need to start planning for summer pressures, published in April 2023 by clicking here.

Education and Training Webinar: EAGLE Study Video Available Online

You can now view the video from the online webinar that took place on Monday 5th June on the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery (GSU) Youtube channel

Anastomotic leak is a severe, potentially life-threatening complication following right colectomy. Internationally, anastomotic leak occurs after 8% of right colectomies. Prospective cohort data demonstrate that patient selection, intraoperative factors, and technical variation are risk factors for anastomotic leak. EAGLE was an international quality improvement programme to share best practice and harmonise procedures for surgeons and the theatre teams so that they might perform the best possible anastomosis for each particular patient. The study was carried out by 350+ hospitals across more than 60 countries.

The online webinar video chaired by Prof. Dion Morton provides all those working in surgical practice and research with an overview of the ground breaking global study EAGLE which is due to be published soon. The hour long video includes the following highlights:

  1. Study background – ESCP RH Audit
  2. Panel Discussion – Why is a Study Required?
  3. EAGLE Study Design
  4. EAGLE High Level Results
  5. Breakout Room – Introduction to Research Methodology
  6. Panel Discussion – Could the QI Intervention be Implemented in Practice?
  7. Future Directions

You can view the video by clicking here.

More information on EAGLE can be viewed by clicking here with further information on the Education and Training Programme viewable by clicking here.