5 Billion Without Basic Care

Safe and affordable surgery is out of reach for 93% of people in sub-Saharan Africa, a panel of experts report in The Lancet. Their worldwide data illuminates the abyss between surgical needs and what is actually available, especially in low- and middle-income countries, according to a BBC report.  

The commission suggests spending an additional $300-420 billion on surgery between now and 2030, calculating that each dollar spent would return $3 or $4 in economic benefit—from lives saved and people returned to productive good health.

“You can’t achieve universal health care if you don’t incorporate surgery," Harvard Medical School’s John Meara told VOA News.

Meara stresses the necessity of trained staff, reliable electricity, and a system for getting patients to often-distant hospitals.

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