Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 485-488

Neurosurgery in rural Nigeria: A prospective study


1 Department of Surgery, Division of Neurological Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti; Department of Surgery, Division of Neurological Surgery, Lautech Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Division of Neurological Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti; Department of Surgery, Division of Neurological Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Taopheeq Bamidele Rabiu
Department of Surgery, Division of Neurological Surgery, Lautech Teaching Hospital, Osogbo
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-3147.188624

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Background: Africa has very few neurosurgeons. These are almost exclusively in urban centers. Consequently, people in rural areas, most of the African population, have poor or no access to neurosurgical care. We have recently pioneered rural neurosurgery in Nigeria. Objectives: This report details our initial experiences and the profile of neurosurgical admissions in our center. Methods: A prospective observational study of all neurosurgical patients managed at a rural tertiary health institution in Nigeria from December 2010 to May 2012 was done. Simple descriptive data analysis was performed. Results: A total of 249 males (75.2%) and 82 females (24.8%) were managed. The median age was 37 years (range: Day of birth – 94 years). Trauma was the leading cause of presentation with 225 (68.0%) and 35 (10.6%) having sustained head and spinal injuries, respectively. Operative intervention was performed in 54 (16.3%). Twenty-four (7.2%) patients discharged against medical advice, mostly for economic reasons. Most patients (208, 63.4%) had satisfactory outcome while 30 (9.1%) died. Conclusion: Trauma is the leading cause of rural neurosurgical presentations. There is an urgent need to improve access to adequate neurosurgical care in the rural communities.


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