Background: Children constitute 50% of Africa's population. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest under-five mortality rates in the world. This study is the first to document the availability of paediatric ENT and paediatric surgery services in Africa. Objective: To determine the availability of paediatric ENT services in Africa, as well as that of paediatric surgery that would complement paediatric ENT. Method: A descriptive observational study in the form of an online questionnaire was distributed by email to known ENT and paediatric surgeons based in Africa. Results: Surgeons from twelve of 23 African countries responded to the survey. Seven countries had both ENT and paediatric surgery responses. In 8 of the 11 countries, the number of ENT surgeons per country was < 6% of that of the UK, with 1 ENT surgeon per 414,000 people and 1 paediatric surgeon per 1,181,151 people. Ten of 11 countries reported hearing assessments in schools were poor/unavailable. Seventy-three percent responded positively for access to rigid laryngoscopes, bronchoscopes, cameras and fibre optic cables, tracheostomy, anaesthesia and nurse practitioners. Access was reported as poor/unavailable for balloon dilators 73% (8/11 countries); CPAP machines 73% (8/11) and sleep studies 82% (9/11 countries). Flexible endoscopes were available in 50% (4/8 countries), 75% (6/8 countries) had access to a camera, monitor and stack. Thirty-eight percent (3/9 countries) reported no ENT specialists with paediatric training. Conclusions: There is a great shortage of paediatric ENT and paediatric surgery services in Africa. More regional training opportunities and health infrastructure for these surgical specialties are needed. Collaborative development of paediatric ENT, surgery and anaesthesia should be considered to improve ENT-related child health in Africa.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Africa, Children's surgical services, Developing world, Education, Minimal resources, Paediatric ENT services, Paediatric surgery, Surgical subspecialisation, Training
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anorl.2018.07.005, hdl.handle.net/1765/114303
Journal European Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases
Citation
Peer, S. (S.), Vial, I. (I.), Numanoglu, A, & Fagan, J.J. (J. J.). (2018). What is the availability of services for paediatric ENT surgery and paediatric surgery in Africa?. European Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases, 135(5), S79–S83. doi:10.1016/j.anorl.2018.07.005