Shortage of Available Surgery Causes Deaths Worldwide

Millions of people die worldwide with treatable conditions because of the lack of routine surgeries, more than from malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis combined. Five billion of the seven billion people in the world cannot get needed surgery or pay for it because of a surgeon and anesthetist shortage in poor and middle-income countries. Nearly 17 million died from conditions requiring surgery. Avoidable deaths include car crashes, farm accidents, and infected gall bladders and hernias. Cancer, heart disease, and cataract operations don’t happen. There is a shortage of at least 143 million surgical procedures every year. Non-doctors are being trained in cesarean sections to save women’s lives. The costs of providing safe and accessible surgery is lower than may have been originally thought. Surgery is weakest in 88 countries – including China, India, and South Africa. The economies of developing countries will lose a great deal of money in the next 15 years without investing in improving surgical options.

Whiting, Alex. “Shortfall in operations causes a third of deaths worldwide: Lancet.” Health. Reuters, 27 Apr 2015. Web. 1 May 2015.
McNeil Jr, Donald G. “Routine Surgeries Could Save Millions of Lives, if They Were Available.” Global Health. New York Times, 27 Apr 2015. Web. 1 May 2015.

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