This lecture given by Dr. Emmanuel A. Ameh, was recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery. It emphasizes the longstanding neglect of children’s surgical care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) despite the high prevalence of pediatric surgical diseases and the shortage of specialized surgeons and infrastructure.
The Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery (GICS) has played a pivotal role in raising awareness and addressing this issue by adopting an inclusive approach that involves LMIC participation and addresses their specific needs, with support from high-income countries (HICs). Efforts have focused on strengthening infrastructure by establishing children’s operating rooms and incorporating children’s surgery into national surgical plans. In Nigeria, the pediatric surgery workforce has grown, but the density of surgeons remains low.
Financing children’s surgery in LMICs remains a significant challenge, as families face the risk of catastrophic healthcare expenses. The lecture underscores the importance of collaborative efforts between the global north and south, with pediatric surgeons contributing their time, expertise, and voices to strengthen children’s surgery globally and improve outcomes for more children in need. You may read the abstract here.