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1.  Hirschsprung’s disease in children: a five year experience at a University teaching hospital in northwestern Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:410.
Background
Hirschsprung’s disease (HD) is the commonest cause of functional intestinal obstruction in children and poses challenges to pediatricians and pediatric surgeons practicing in resource-limited countries. This study describes the clinical characteristics and outcome of management of this disease in our setting and highlights challenges associated with the care of these patients and proffer solutions for improved outcome.
Methods
This was a descriptive prospective study of children aged ≤ 10 years who were histologically diagnosed and treated for HD at our centre between July 2008 and June 2013.
Results
A total of 110 patients (M: F ratio= 3.6:1) with a median age of 24 months were studied. Six (5.5%) patients were in the neonatal period. Sixty-four (58.2%) patients had complete intestinal obstruction whereas 42 (38.2%) and 4 (3.6%) patients had chronic intestinal obstruction and intestinal perforation respectively. No patient had enterocolitis. Constipation (94.5%) was the most common complaints. 109 (99.1%) patients had colostomy prior to the definitive pull-through. The median duration of colostomy before definitive pull-through was 4 months. The majority of patients (67.3%) had short segment of aganglionosis localized to the recto-sigmoid region. The definitive pull-through was performed in 94 (85.5%) patients (Swenson’s pull-through 76 (80.9%), Duhamel’s pull-through (12.8%) and Soave’s pull-through 4 (4.3%) patients). Postoperative complication rate was 47.3%. The median length of hospital stay was 26 days. Patients who developed complications stayed longer in the hospital and this was statistically significant (p <0.001). Mortality rate was 21.8%. The age < 4 weeks, delayed presentation and surgical site infection were the main predictors of mortality (p < 0.001). During the follow-up period, the results of Swenson’s and Duhamel’s pull through procedures were generally good in 87.8% and 42.9% of patients respectively. The result of Soave’s procedures was generally poor in this study.
Conclusion
HD remains the commonest cause of functional intestinal obstruction in children and contributes significantly to high morbidity and mortality in our setting. The majority of patients present late when the disease becomes complicated. Early diagnosis and timely definitive pull through procedure are essential in order to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-410
PMCID: PMC4083133  PMID: 24973940
Hirschsprung’s disease; Clinical presentation; Management; Outcome; Tanzania
2.  Surgical management of inguinal hernias at Bugando Medical Centre in northwestern Tanzania: our experiences in a resource-limited setting 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:585.
Background
Inguinal hernia repair remains the commonest operation performed by general surgeons all over the world. There is paucity of published data on surgical management of inguinal hernias in our environment. This study is intended to describe our own experiences in the surgical management of inguinal hernias and compare our results with that reported in literature.
Methods
A descriptive prospective study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre in northwestern Tanzania. Ethical approval to conduct the study was obtained from relevant authorities before the commencement of the study. Statistical data analysis was done using SPSS software version 17.0.
Results
A total of 452 patients with inguinal hernias were enrolled in the study. The median age of patients was 36 years (range 3 months to 78 years). Males outnumbered females by a ratio of 36.7:1. This gender deference was statistically significant (P = 0.003). Most patients (44.7%) presented late (more than five years of onset of hernia). Inguinoscrotal hernia (66.8%) was the commonest presentation. At presentation, 208 (46.0%) patients had reducible hernia, 110 (24.3%) had irreducible hernia, 84 (18.6%) and 50(11.1%) patients had obstructed and strangulated hernias respectively. The majority of patients (53.1%) had right sided inguinal hernia with a right-to-left ratio of 2.1: 1. Ninety-two (20.4%) patients had bilateral inguinal hernias. 296 (65.5%) patients had indirect hernia, 102 (22.6%) had direct hernia and 54 (11.9%) had both indirect and direct types (pantaloon hernia). All patients in this study underwent open herniorrhaphy. The majority of patients (61.5%) underwent elective herniorrhaphy under spinal anaesthesia (69.2%). Local anaesthesia was used in only 1.1% of cases. Bowel resection was required in 15.9% of patients. Modified Bassini’s repair (79.9%) was the most common technique of posterior wall repair of the inguinal canal. Lichtenstein mesh repair was used in only one (0.2%) patient. Complication rate was 12.4% and it was significantly higher in emergency herniorrhaphy than in elective herniorrhaphy (P = 0.002). The median length of hospital stay was 8 days and it was significantly longer in patients with advanced age, delayed admission, concomitant medical illness, high ASA class, the need for bowel resection and in those with surgical repair performed under general anesthesia (P < 0.001). Mortality rate was 9.7%. Longer duration of symptoms, late hospitalization, coexisting disease, high ASA class, delayed operation, the need for bowel resection and presence of complications were found to be predictors of mortality (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
Inguinal hernias continue to be a source of morbidity and mortality in our centre. Early presentation and elective repair of inguinal hernias is pivotal in order to eliminate the morbidity and mortality associated with this very common problem.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-585
PMCID: PMC3526506  PMID: 23098556
Inguinal hernias; Surgical management; Treatment outcome; Predictors of outcome; Tanzania
3.  Splenic injuries at Bugando Medical Centre in northwestern Tanzania: a tertiary hospital experience 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:59.
Background
Splenic injuries constitute a continuing diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to the trauma or general surgeons practicing in developing countries where sophisticated imaging facilities are either not available or exorbitantly expensive. The purpose of this review was to describe our own experience in the management of the splenic injuries outlining the aetiological spectrum, injury characteristics and treatment outcome of splenic injuries in our local environment and to identify predictors of outcome among these patients.
Methods
A prospective descriptive study of splenic injury patients was carried out at Bugando Medical Centre in Northwestern Tanzania between March 2009 and February 2011. Statistical data analysis was done using SPSS software version 17.0.
Results
A total of 118 patients were studied. The male to female ratio was 6.4:1. Their ages ranged from 8 to 74 years with a median age of 22 years. The modal age group was 21-30 years. The majority of patients (89.8%) had blunt trauma and road traffic accidents (63.6%) were the most frequent cause of injuries. Most patients sustained grade III (39.0%) and IV (38.1%) splenic injuries. Majority of patients (86.4%) were treated operatively with splenectomy (97.1%) being the most frequently performed procedure. Postoperative complications were recorded in 30.5% of cases. The overall length of hospital stay (LOS) ranged from 1 day to 120 days with a median of 18 days. Mortality rate was 19.5%. Patients who had severe trauma (Kampala Trauma Score II ≤ 6) and those with associated injuries stayed longer in the hospital (P < 0.001), whereas age of the patient, associated injuries, trauma scores (KTS II), grade of splenic injuries, admission systolic blood pressure ≤ 90 mmHg, estimated blood loss > 2000 mls, HIV infection with CD4 ≤ 200 cells/μl and presence of postoperative complications were significantly associated with mortality (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
Trauma resulting from road traffic accidents (RTAs) remains the most common cause of splenic injuries in our setting. Most of the splenic injuries were Grade III & IV and splenectomy was performed in majority of the cases. Non-operative management can be adopted in patients with blunt isolated and low grade splenic injuries but operative management is still indispensable in this part of Tanzania. Urgent preventive measures targeting at reducing the occurrence of RTAs is necessary to reduce the incidence of splenic injuries in our centre.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-59
PMCID: PMC3274421  PMID: 22269803
Splenic injuries; Aetiological spectrum; Injury characteristics; Treatment outcome; Predictors of outcome; Tanzania
4.  Pattern of childhood burn injuries and their management outcome at Bugando Medical Centre in Northwestern Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:485.
Background
Burn injuries constitute a major public health problem and are the leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. There is paucity of published data on childhood burn injuries in Tanzania, particularly the study area. This study was conducted to describe the pattern of childhood burn injuries in our local setting and to evaluate their management outcome.
Methods
A cross sectional study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre (in Northwestern Tanzania) over a 3-year period from January 2008 to December 2010. Data was collected using a pre-tested coded questionnaire and statistical analyses performed using SPSS software version 15.0.
Results
A total of 342 burned children were studied. Males were mainly affected. Children aged = 2 were the majority accounting for 45.9% of cases. Intentional burn injuries due to child abuse were reported in 2.9% of cases. Scald was the most common type of burns (56.1%). The trunk was the most commonly involved body region (57.3%). Majority of patients (48.0%) sustained superficial burns. Eight (2.3%) patients were HIV positive. Most patients (89.8%) presented to the hospital later than 24 h. The rate of burn wound infection on admission and on 10th day were 32.4% and 39.8% respectively.Staphylococcus aureus were more common on admission wound swabs, with Pseudomonas aeruginosa becoming more evident after 10th day. MRSA was detected in 19.2% of Staphylococcus aureus. Conservative treatment was performed in 87.1% of cases. Surgical treatment mainly skin grafting (65.9%) was performed in 44 (12.9%) of patients. The overall average of the length of hospital stay (LOS) was 22.12 ± 16.62 days. Mortality rate was 11.7%. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis; age of the patient, type of burn, delayed presentation, clothing ignition, %TBSA and severity of burn were found to be significantly associated with LOS (P < 0.001), whereas mortality rate was found to be independently and significantly related to the age of the patient, type of burn, HIV positive with stigmata of AIDS, CD4 count, inhalation injury, %TBSA and severity of burn (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
Childhood burn injuries still remain a menace in our environment with virtually unacceptable high morbidity and mortality. There is need for critical appraisal of the preventive measures and management principles currently being practiced.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-485
PMCID: PMC3270007  PMID: 22070934
Childhood burn injuries; Patterns; Management outcome; Tanzania
5.  Surgical management of Diabetic foot ulcers: A Tanzanian university teaching hospital experience 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:365.
Background
Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) pose a therapeutic challenge to surgeons, especially in developing countries where health care resources are limited and the vast majority of patients present to health facilities late with advanced foot ulcers. A prospective descriptive study was done at Bugando Medical Centre from February 2008 to January 2010 to describe our experience in the surgical management of DFUs in our local environment and compare with what is known in the literature.
Findings
Of the total 4238 diabetic patients seen at BMC during the period under study, 136 (3.2%) patients had DFUs. Males outnumbered females by the ratio of 1.2:1. Their mean age was 54.32 years (ranged 21-72years). Thirty-eight (27.9%) patients were newly diagnosed diabetic patients. The majority of patients (95.5%) had type 2 diabetes mellitus. The mean duration of diabetes was 8.2 years while the duration of DFUs was 18.34 weeks. Fourteen (10.3%) patients had previous history of foot ulcers and six (4.4%) patients had previous amputations. The forefoot was commonly affected in 60.3% of cases. Neuropathic ulcers were the most common type of DFUs in 57.4% of cases. Wagner's stage 4 and 5 ulcers were the most prevalent at 29.4% and 23.5% respectively. The majority of patients (72.1%) were treated surgically. Lower limb amputation was the most common surgical procedure performed in 56.7% of cases. The complication rate was (33.5%) and surgical site infection was the most common complication (18.8%). Bacterial profile revealed polymicrobial pattern and Staphylococcus aureus was the most frequent microorganism isolated. All the microorganisms isolated showed high resistance to commonly used antibiotics except for Meropenem and imipenem, which were 100% sensitive each respectively. The mean hospital stay was 36.24 ± 12.62 days (ranged 18-128 days). Mortality rate was 13.2%.
Conclusion
Diabetic foot ulceration constitutes a major source of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes mellitus at Bugando Medical Centre and is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation. A multidisciplinary team approach targeting at good glycaemic control, education on foot care and appropriate footware, control of infection and early surgical intervention is required in order to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with DFUs. Due to polymicrobial infection and antibiotic resistance, surgical intervention must be concerned.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-365
PMCID: PMC3189128  PMID: 21943342
Diabetic foot ulcers; prevalence; pattern; surgical management; Tanzania

Results 1-5 (5)