Investing in Pediatric Surgical Research to Advance Universal Health Coverage for Children in Nigeria.
About 1.7 billion children and adolescents most of whom are in low- and middle-income countries lack access to safe and affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed. 43% of Nigeria's population of 199 million are below the age of 15 years. In 2015, Nigeria had a pediatric surgeon workforce deficit of 693 for children <15 years. While threats and constraints to achieving universal health coverage in Nigeria have been highlighted, the role of research is often not included. Over the years, there has been a slow but progressive increase in pediatric surgical workforce and research output, both locally and with international collaborations, and in trainee involvement in research as lead authors. There has unfortunately been a challenge with translation of research findings, outcomes, and recommendations into actions. Despite the various challenges mitigating against pediatric surgery research, efforts must be committed to developing and implementing innovative approaches to address the problems and challenges, as well as implementing quality improvement programs and deploying technology to advance children's care. It is hoped that inclusion of children's surgery in the National Surgical, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia, and Nursing Plan would strengthen pediatric surgical research in Nigeria.
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