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Revista Cubana de Cirugía

Print version ISSN 0034-7493On-line version ISSN 1561-2945


CALVETE CHORNET, Julio et al. Surgical Cooperation Program in a Rural Hospital of Ethiopia. Can we Offer Quality Surgeries?. Rev Cubana Cir [online]. 2019, vol.58, n.2, e790.  Epub June 01, 2019. ISSN 0034-7493.


In Ethiopia, surgical assistance in rural areas is deficient due to the lack of surgeons and limited health resources. This suboptimal setting can cause an increase in morbidity and surgical mortality.


To describe the surgical interventions carried out during eight years of cooperation in Gambo Rural Hospital and analyze the postoperative morbidity and mortality.


A retrospective and descriptive study of the surgical interventions performed at Gambo Rural Hospital was carried out by a surgical cooperation group between 2007-2017 in eight surgical campaigns. Sex, age, diagnosis, type of surgery (urgent or scheduled), carried out operations, postoperative complications, surgical site infections, morbidities, reoperations, blood transfusions and postoperative mortality were collected in a database.


587 patients were operated on: 389 for general surgery, 78 for obstetrics-gynecology, 77 urological lesions, and 38 for traumatology. 13% (89) patients were operated urgently. General anesthesia with tracheal intubation was applied to 143 patients, spinal anesthesia was used in 167 cases and local anesthesia was used in 277 cases. In major surgery (310 patients), mortality was 2%, with 5.3% of surgical site infection, 3 reinterventions (1%) and 9 (3%) perioperative blood transfusions.


Additional training in obstetric-gynecological surgery, urology and traumatology is necessary for surgical cooperation in the rural setting of Ethiopia. Despite the scarce technological means of Gambo Rural Hospital, it is possible to perform major surgery safely, with a low rate of wound infections, transfusion needs, reoperations and mortality.

Keywords : humanitarian surgery; international cooperation; surgery in Ethiopia.

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