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Limb trauma & reconstruction in East, Central & Southern Africa: the socioeconomic burden and prospects for change (GCRF)

Project Description

Open lower limb fractures (OLLFs) are life-changing injuries defined by a wound associated with an underlying fracture. They constitute a large proportion (50-72%) of major extremity trauma in Sub-Saharan Africa; however, there is a dearth of research on the epidemiology, clinical management and health economics of these injuries. OLLFs are at especially high risk of adverse outcomes for patients (bone and joint infection, amputation) leading to long-term disability, pain and social/economic deprivation. In LMICs, there are inefficiencies in management of these complex injuries (late presentation, poor early management, long hospital stays, multiple operations and frequent readmission with infection) and moreover, significant economic and social consequences for the healthcare system and country. The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery has demonstrated that surgical services are a cost-effective health investment in resource poor settings and that investing in surgical care can reduce death and disability and improve public health and the economy in LMICs. Simply, appropriate and timely surgical interventions can salvage limbs and prevent amputation.

This project will undertake mapping and evaluations of trauma pathways in East, Central & Southern African partner countries (Zambia and Uganda) to define the gaps and priority actions for patients with complex limb trauma. A WHO Emergency Care System Assessment (ECSA)-like process (modified to focus specifically on limb trauma management, reconstruction & rehabilitation) will be used to generate novel datasets. This information will be used alongside patient level data to build economic models measuring healthcare and societal impact of proposed interventions such as education/training and technology to aid appropriate triage.

Entry Requirements
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.

If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - choose PhD Cell Matrix Research. Full details on how to apply can be found on the GCRF website

Funding Notes

The GCRF PhD studentship programme is a 4 year programme with integrated teaching certificate. There are up to 12 studentships available. Applicants can apply to one project which will start in either April or September 2020.

Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around £15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant, training allowance and travel allowance.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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