Monday May 28, 2018

5 billion people have no access to safe and affordable surgery, says study

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A new study published in the Lancet medical journal suggests that two-third of the world population has no access to safe and affordable surgery.

It simply implies that millions of people are dying from conditions that can easily be treated like appendicitis and obstructed labor.

In 2010 itself, inaccessibility to safe and inexpensive surgeries resulted in deaths of almost 17 million people.

The Global Surgery 2030 Commission was written by 25 experts of surgery and anesthesia, with assistance from more than 110 countries, including India.

“More than 2 billion people are unable to receive surgical care based on operating theater density alone,” the study disclosed.

The findings of the study revealed, “At least 4·8 billion people worldwide do not have access to surgery. The proportion of the population without access varied widely in nations that are developed and those which are not. The proportion is greater than 95% in south Asia and central, eastern, and western sub-Saharan Africa, and less than 5% in Australasia, high-income North America, and western Europe lack access.”

The commission said that even those who are able to access surgery fall under great financial pressure due to high costs of the surgical procedures. Worldwide, a quarter of people who have a surgery incur costs that they cannot afford, which ultimately push them into poverty. This, in due course, prove that cost is a great barrier.

Andy Leather, Director of the King’s Centre for Global Health, King’s College London, and one of the commission’s lead authors said, “In the absence of surgical care, common, easily treatable illnesses become fatal.”

“There is a long way to go, but if the global health community wishes to address ongoing inequities and the growing burden of disease, improving access to surgical care cannot be ignored,” the report suggested.

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World Health Organization Preparing For Some Significant Modifications

The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, passed a number of resolutions aimed at improving global health.

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WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus paid homage to his predecessor, Margaret Chan, saying the reforms begun under her leadership to make the World Health Organization more responsive and better able to tackle emergencies were now paying off.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization. VOA

The World Health Organization’s annual conference ended on a high note Saturday, with the organization’s director general praising delegates for giving him a strong mandate to implement an ambitious program of reforms and initiatives that will improve global health.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus paid homage to his predecessor, Margaret Chan, saying the reforms begun under her leadership to make the World Health Organization more responsive and better able to tackle emergencies were now paying off.

“The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has demonstrated exactly that. … Let me assure you that I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible,” Tedros said. “And the commitment of the government, of course, and the leadership is at the center, which we really admire.”

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus paid homage to his predecessor, Margaret Chan, saying the reforms begun under her leadership to make the World Health Organization more responsive and better able to tackle emergencies were now paying off.
The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, passed a number of resolutions aimed at improving global health. Wikimedia Common

The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, passed a number of resolutions aimed at improving global health. Some deal with diseases that have plagued humanity for centuries, while others are newly emerging.

But all these decisions, Tedros said, involve commitments to make the world a healthier, safer place. For example, he noted the assembly had approved a road map to reduce deaths from cholera by 90 percent by 2030.

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“You endorsed our five-year strategic plan on polio transition, to strengthen country health systems that could be affected by the scaling down of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative,” he said. “You passed resolutions on tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases. … And you have agreed to increase the development and use of digital technologies to improve health and keep the world safe.”

Tedros urged the delegates to go back to their countries with renewed determination to work every day for the health of their people. How well they succeed in this endeavor, he said, will be measured by the outcomes, by whether they result in real change on the ground. (VOA)