Delivery of essential surgery by family physicians (3)

3 November, 2020

Timely access to safe surgical care remains a challenge in most LMICs. How such surgical care can be accessible with financial risk protection has been the focus of surgical plans in several countries.

Nigeria recently launched her National Surgical, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia and Nursing Plan (Strategic Priorities for Surgical Care-StraPS) (available at: ). The plan tries to provide a road map for delivery of emergency and essential surgical care at district and first level hospitals, where majority of the population access care.

The density of specialist surgeons in LMICs is very low and they are mostly distributed in tertiary and 3rd level hospitals in cities and big towns. Many families are driven into poverty or are at risk of catastrophic health care expenditure even for an uncomplicated C-section or hernia repair. Given these scenario, innovative approaches and financing mechanisms are urgently needed to address the huge gaps and inequities in emergency and essential surgical care in these settings.


Emmanuel A. Ameh

Professor & Chief Consultant Paediatric Surgeon

Division of Paediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery

National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria

Tel: +234 806 446 4967

HIFA profile: Emmanuel A Ameh is Professor & Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Ahmadu Bello University & Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria. Professional interests include: Neonatal surgery, Paediatric surgical oncology, Paediatric trauma, Paediatric urology, Medical education. He recently co-edited the books, Paediatric Surgery for Africa-a comprehensive text published by Global HELP, and Surgical Care for Children-a guide for referral hospitals published by MacMillan press. He's also Editor-in-Chief for Annals of African Medicine. eaameh AT