UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery; School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Health Services Administration | Infectious Disease | International Public Health | Plastic Surgery | Virus Diseases


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has placed an unprecedented strain on healthcare systems worldwide, but while high-income countries (HICs) have been able to adapt, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have been much slower to do so due to a lack of funding, skilled healthcare providers, equipment, and facilities. The redistribution of resources to combat the pandemic in LMICs has resulted in decreased surgical volumes at local surgical centers as well as a dramatic reduction in the number of humanitarian aid missions. Despite recent global investment in improving the surgical capacities of LMICs, even in the pre-COVID-19 era there was a vast unmet surgical need. This deficit in surgical capacity has grown during the pandemic and it will be a significant struggle to overcome the resulting backlog of patients. A topic of particular concern to the authors is the effect that the pandemic will have on the delivery of time-sensitive surgical care to patients with cleft palate deformities as delay in providing care can have enormous physical and psychosocial consequences. This paper draws increased attention to the lasting impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on cleft palate patients in LMICs. SSRN Pre-print server link:


COVID-19, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), surgical volumes, backlog, cleft palate patients

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Copyright : © 2022 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

DOI of Published Version



Wood JJ, Gu G, Guber RD, Rothkopf DM. Impending Backlog of Cleft Palate Patients Due to COVID-19. Ann Glob Health. 2022 Jan 20;88(1):9. doi: 10.5334/aogh.3534. PMID: 35087709; PMCID: PMC8782091. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of global health

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PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.