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COVID-19 Preparedness Within the Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthetic Ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa
Published: July 1, 2020
Community transmission of COVID-19 is already being reported in Africa. Most countries on the continent will have +10,000 confirmed cases within the month.2 The population, while generally younger than in Europe and North America, has much higher rates of poverty, malnutrition, HIV, and TB, which could shift the demographics of lethality. For surgeons, obstetricians, and anesthesiologists, the major challenge will be maintaining provision of emergency and essential surgery and obstetric care while preserving precious resources, minimizing exposure of health care workers, and preventing onward transmission. The human skill sets, resources, and supply chains supporting surgical services are also those needed for responding to the crisis.