The Lancet: Investing in surgery: a value proposition for African leaders

9 July, 2020

Below are the citation and extracts of a Comment in this week's print issue of The Lancet.

CITATION: Comment| volume 396, issue 10243, p7-9, july 04, 2020

Investing in surgery: a value proposition for African leaders

Desmond T Jumbam et al.

Published: July 04, 2020

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30482-7

Globally, poor access to high-quality surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia care remains a main contributor to global disease burden accounting for about a third of deaths worldwide... Approximately 93% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to safe, affordable, and timely surgical care, compared with less than 10% in high-income countries...

In sub-Saharan Africa, maternal mortality after caesarean delivery is estimated to be as high as 543 per 100 000 operations—50 times higher than in high-income countries.14 Other conditions that require surgical care and severely affect human capital in sub-Saharan Africa are road traffic injuries. In 2016, the rate of these injuries in the WHO African region, at 26·6 road traffic deaths per 100 000 population, was the highest in the world—up from 26·1 per 100 000 population in 2013...

African leaders have an ethical, social, and economic responsibility to invest in surgical care to increase the individual, societal, and national human capital needed to reap its demographic dividend...

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org