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The success of a KidsOR operating theatre in Abuja


At KidsOR we pride ourselves in measuring the positive impact of our dedicated children’s Operating Rooms, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Our global data project allows us to better understand the real cost, and benefit, of saving a child’s life, of preventing a life of pain and disability, and of transforming children’s futures. 

The initial results from the installation of a paediatric theatre in Nigeria have been exceedingly positive: the surgical team based at National Hospital Abuja increased the number of paediatric operations carried out by more than two-thirds in just a year. 

From July 2018 to July the following year, 229 operations on children were carried out. But after the Operating Room was installed in August 2019, the surgical team in Abuja undertook 381 operations from September 2019 to September last year – a staggering rise of more than 66 per cent. 

However, the encouraging results don’t end there. Our research also revealed the following improvements in surgical care at Abuja:

  • The number of neonates accessing surgery increased by 140%, this is a direct result of having the right size surgical equipment for babies.
  • The percentage of wound infections decreased from 1.3 per cent to 0.29 per cent
  • The percentage of fatalities decreased from 2.7% to 1.7%.
Surgical team in Abuja, Nigeria

Surgical team in Abuja, Nigeria

Commenting on the difference that the new Operating Room has made, a spokesperson on behalf of the Surgical Team said: 

“Having a KidsOR Operating Room has made surgeries far more effective. We have paediatric-sized instruments and do not have to struggle with larger ones meant for adult surgeries. As for the children, they move into an Operating Room filled with beautiful wallpapers and exciting toys and are so engaged that they do not even realise when they are put under anaesthesia. The relief on the faces of parents when they realise that their kids can have surgeries within a few days – enough time for pre-operative preparation – is priceless. Thank you KidsOR for such a tremendous gift!” 

But, most importantly, our backlog of patients which used to involve a waiting list of a year or sometimes more, has been cleared.

Rosemary Mugwe, Africa Director here at KidsOR, said: 

“The Surgical Team at National Hospital were carrying out fantastic work before KidsOR came on board; however, they lacked specialist paediatric equipment to provide safe, quality surgery. We were happy to provide the tools – metaphorically and literally – to give them even greater capacity to help the children of Abuja. And we are delighted to learn of the large increase in the number of operations being carried out meaning that children do not have to wait for life saving or life changing surgery.” 

We will continue to measure the impact of our work one Operating Room at a time as we aim to provide all children around the world with access to safe surgery. We will also continue to fund the training of surgeons and anaesthesia providers and work with National Ministries of Health to develop sustainable healthcare services.

A big thank you to Prof. Emmanuel Ameh, Lead surgeon at National Hospital in Abuja, and Nancy Ukwu Nneka, the KidsOR Data Collector, for the incredible role they play in helping us measure the impact of the Operating Room in Abuja.

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