Welcome to the third NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery newsletter. We trust that you are all keeping well. We are very pleased to see the work of the Unit steadily progressing during these unprecedented times and, as always, are keen to hear from you and to share news and developments across the Unit. Please do send us any items that you would like us to include in future editions of the newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.


Scoping visit on Catastrophic Expenditure in Cancer Care, India

Cancer is a rising concern in LMICs and multiple barriers influence access to diagnosis and treatment. The Global Surgery Unit is designing a pilot study in partnership with the Indian Institute of the University of Birmingham to achieve a better understanding of these constraints. This scoping visit aimed to enrol research partners, collecting their perspectives to design a study that mirrors local priorities. Our Hub and Spokes staff in Ludhiana, Vellore and Kolkata kindly collaborated and facilitated contacts for this exploratory work. We are pleased to have Indian surgeons, oncologists and radiotherapists actively engaged in the design of the study.

Recognising financial issues as a main problem to address, a scoping search was carried out during the visit to explore the feasibility of data collection about patient expenses related to cancer care, making it possible to assess patients undergoing catastrophic expenditure due to this care. Our partners in India shared their knowledge about cancer patients pathways and funding sources which will be crucial for the study design. This study will hopefully generate hypotheses and inform future trials about interventions to improve the affordability of cancer treatment. 

CovidSurg cohort studies
Publications: The first paper by the CovidSurg Collaborative – ‘Global guidance for surgical care during the COVID-19 pandemic’ – is now available at https://globalsurg.org/covidsurg/

Lecture Series: The first CovidSurg lecture will take place on Thursday 14th May (14:00 BST). Outcomes from the first 1100 patients will be presented and discussed to inform data-driven decision making. 

If you are unable to join, a recording will be made available online and on the CovidSurg twitter page @CovidSurg
For more information please visit the website at CovidSurg