Cleft Surgery Service at National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu: Impact of free treatment programme
INTRODUCTION: Previous reports on free surgeries have tended to focus on the numbers of patients treated. Little has been documented on the impact on training hence this report. Such grants should positively impact training, patient outcome and volume of patients.
METHODS: A retrospective review of all cleft surgeries carried out two years before and after the commencement of free surgical treatment at the hospital (from November 2004 to October 2008) was undertaken. The demographics were studied for both primary and revisional surgeries. The primary surgeons were also noted. Excluded from the study are procedures to remove sutures. Simple arithmetic analysis was used.
RESULTS: Seventy-three cleft procedures had been carried out before, while 168 procedures were carried out after October 2006. Eight patients aged over 15 years had lip repairs before while 42 patients over 15 years had lip repair after commencement. Fourteen procedures were carried out by three trainee surgeons before; while 29 procedures were carried out by nine trainees after October 2006. In 2005 an average of four procedures a month were undertaken; this increased by 2008 to eight.
CONCLUSION: Free treatment positively impacts patient turnout and training, and are encouraged to improve the quality of healthcare in the country.
KEYWORDS: cleft care, free treatment, training Nigeria