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

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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