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RCSI, BD Expand Access to Pediatric Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa

BDThe RCSI Institute of Global Surgery and global medical technology company, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) announce KidSURG, a joint initiative aimed at significantly improving pediatric surgical services across Southern Malawi.

Created in collaboration with leading Malawian pediatric surgeon, Professor Eric Borgstein, the KidSURG initiative will develop a pediatric surgical network in Southern Malawi, to expand surgical access to 8 million children. The initiative will also seek to develop and share optimal models for replicating this initiative in other countries. BD has donated $500,000 in cash and surgical products to support the initiative.

Malawi is a region within Africa that faces a catastrophic deficit in surgical care access. The country’s unmet need for surgical care is estimated to be 41 million cases per year, resulting in a greater number of deaths than those resulting from TB, HIV and Malaria combined.

Through the KidSURG initiative, RCSI worked in partnership with Borgstein and his team in Malawi to identify the greatest challenges when it comes to expanding surgical access. Together they will work to reduce unnecessary childhood mortality by addressing the shortfall in surgical equipment and medical expertise within district hospitals in the region. The KidSURG initiative will train health care workers to deliver high-quality, pre-referral care for complex pediatric surgical patients, and deliver safe surgery for some of the most common surgical procedures needed by children.

The initiative will also direct the development of a specialist mentor network, through which pediatric surgeons in central hospitals can provide immediate advice on patient management to regional district hospitals. Additionally, the project will supply custom-made pediatric surgical toolboxes, sponsored by BD, providing critical equipment needed to operate safely on children.

Following initial roll out, RCSI will evaluate opportunities to scale-up and expand the initiative elsewhere in a cost effective manner, ensuring that its impact is maximized.

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