Surgery: Data Can Make a Difference

2 billion people around the world lack access to basic surgery, but not enough is known about operative care in low-resource settings—especially in Africa, which has perhaps the greatest unmet need.

To add to the knowledge base, a study published in Surgery analyzed records of surgical patients from 7 Médécins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospitals in Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. Reviewing surgical epidemiology, major procedures, and perioperative mortality (POMR), the researchers from MSF and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that perioperative death was associated with emergency surgery, violence and patient age under 15.

Their study also proved that it is possible to collect surgical data in low-resource settings, and that’s an important first step to improve quality and access to care.

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