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Infrastructure Expansion for Children's Surgery: Models That are Working

Emmanuel A Ameh, Marilyn W Butler
World Journal of Surgery 2019 January 3
Children's surgical care is cost-effective and can avert mortality and long-term disability in children, with ramifications throughout life not only for the patient, but for the extended family and community as well. Considering the current gaps and limited capacity for children's surgery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), it is clear that without expanding and scaling up the infrastructure, World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution 68/15 targets and child-related targets of Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Care are unlikely to be met by 2030. The most promising models to expand infrastructure are those that include ongoing partnerships and capacity building by educating and training local surgeons and healthcare professionals who will not only provide care for children, but who will train future generations of surgical providers as well. Efforts to improve infrastructure necessarily include raising the standard of children's surgical care at all levels of the healthcare system, which will hopefully be guided by National Surgical, Obstetrics, and Anesthesia Plans and by the Optimal Resources for Children's Surgery document. The private sector can be effectively engaged to fill infrastructure and service gaps that cannot be met by government budgets. Ultimately, success of any infrastructure expansion initiative depends on strong advocacy to allocate ample funding for children's surgical care.


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