During the COVID-19 pandemic, protection of the surgical workforce with proper PPE and safety practices is essential. We surveyed 230 surgical facilities and 507 perioperative clinicians in 52 low- and middle-income countries in October 2020 to understand ongoing resource and training limitations. Facilities and clinicians in the lowest income countries had severe shortages in PPE, viral anesthesia filters, and the least COVID-19 related training and protocol implementation, all of which were associated with low perceived workplace safety. Understanding these gaps can help to direct local and international responses to improve surgical provider safety until the pandemic comes to an end.
We would like to acknowledge Eliana Lillevik, Luciano Barbosa, Daniela Farchi , Dr. Laila Woc-Colburn, Dr. Gustavo Moraes, Suko Dwi Nugroho, Nguyen Tri Dung, Dr. Rong Hu, Priya Desai and Senait Bitew for their contributions to language translations, survey distribution and data collection.
Dr. Starr reports grants from NIH Fogarty International Center (Global Health Equity Scholars NIH FIC D43TW010540), during the conduct of the study.