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Borgstein

RCSI and BD partner to expand access to paediatric surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa

November 25, 2020

Professor Eric Borgstein is a leading Malawian pediatric surgeon

DUBLIN, Nov. 24, 2020 – The RCSI Institute of Global Surgery and global medical technology company, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), today announce KidSURG, a joint initiative aimed at significantly improving paediatric surgical services across Southern Malawi.

Created in collaboration with leading Malawian paediatric surgeon,Professor Eric Borgstein,theKidSURG initiative will develop a paediatric surgical network in Southern Malawi, to expand surgical access to 8 million children. The initiative will also seek to develop and share optimal models for replicating this initiative in other countries. BD has donated $500,000 in cash and surgical products to support the initiative.

Malawi is a region within Africa that faces a catastrophic deficit in surgical care access. The country’s unmet need for surgical care is estimated to be 41 million cases per year, resulting in a greater number of deaths than those resulting from TB, HIV and Malaria combined.

Through the KidSURG initiative, RCSI worked in partnership with Professor Borgstein and his team in Malawi to identify the greatest challenges when it comes to expanding surgical access. Together they will work to reduce unnecessary childhood mortality by addressing the shortfall in surgical equipment and medical expertise within district hospitals in the region. The KidSURG initiative will train healthcare workers to deliver high-quality, pre-referral care for complex paediatric surgical patients, and deliver safe surgery for some of the most common surgical procedures needed by children.

The initiative will also direct the development of a specialist mentor network, through which paediatric surgeons in central hospitals can provide immediate advice on patient management to regional district hospitals. Additionally, the project will supply custom-made paediatric surgical toolboxes, sponsored by BD, providing critical equipment needed to operate safely on children.

Following initial roll out, RCSI will evaluate opportunities to scale-up and expand the initiative elsewhere in a cost effective manner, ensuring that its impact is maximised.

Professor Eric Borgstein, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi said: The KidSURG initiativeis a powerful example of practical and effective support that will help increase expertise in district hospitals across MalawiI welcome this important collaboration with RCSI and extend my sincere thanks to BD for supporting our critical work on the ground.”

Professor Mark Shrime, O’Brien Chair of Global Surgery at RCSI, said: For over ten years, RCSI has pioneered and accelerated change to provide solutions to the surgical deficit, focusing on low and middle-income countries. We are proud to announce this partnership with BD which will significantly reduce mortality rates for children.”

Greg Quinn, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy at BD, said: “BD has strong heritage of facilitating best-practice patient and healthcare worker safety across the world. This important partnership with our RCSI colleagues and local Malawi professionals will enable the best surgical outcomes and the safest possible interventions for children in Malawi, and we also hope it will become a model for expanding safe surgical access to children in other developing nations as well.”

Building on extensive experience in surgical training, education and research partnerships in Africa, the RCSI Institute of Global Surgery works with local partners to develop sustainable surgical care systems in low and middle-income countries. The Institute has a dual focus: capacity-building to alleviate the surgical burden, and high impact research to set the foundation for greater growth.

For nine years RCSI researchers have led the COST and SURG-Africa global surgery consortia working to develop, implement and evaluate sustainable training models in which local physicians and non-physician clinicians are trained to deliver safe surgery in rural hospitals with the support of consultant surgeons from within the region.

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is ranked first in the world for ‘Good Health and Well-being’ in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2020The University’s leading global position in this category reflects RCSI’s singular focus on improving human health, for the benefit of patients and communities across the globe.

About RCSI
Ranked number one globally for Good Health and Well-being in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings 2020, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is an international not-for-profit university, with its headquarters in Dublin.

RCSI is exclusively focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide. It is among the top 250 universities worldwide in the THE World University Rankings (2021) and is ranked second among the universities in Ireland. Its research is ranked first in Ireland for citations. RCSI has been awarded Athena SWAN Bronze accreditation for positive gender practice in higher education.

Visit the RCSI MyHealth Expert Directory to find the details of our experts across a range of healthcare issues and concerns. In support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to promote health and wellbeing, these academics, clinicians and researchers are willing to engage with the media in their area of expertise so they can empower people with information that leads them to better health.

About BD
BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 65,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians’ care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers’ capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care.

About Professor Eric Borgstein
Professor Eric Borgstein is a Malawian paediatric surgeon, who serves as a Professor of Surgery at the University of Malawi College of Medicine, and as Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), the largest public hospital in Malawi.

He is Director of the Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care; a recently established specialist centre for service provision and training in paediatric surgery and paediatric critical care at the QECH. He currently Secretary General of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA)

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