In Malawi, 35% of people sampled in a hospital survey reported living with an untreated condition requiring surgery.
A majority of the nearly 3,000 respondents to the survey, conducted by group of researchers led by Carlos Varela of Kamuzu Central Hospital, did not seek treatment because they couldn’t afford transportation to a health facility. Malawi also has the lowest number of surgeons per capita in the world, meaning people often have to travel far for consultations. Researchers hope the data will inform future National Health Service planning.
Untreated surgical conditions like hernias, tumors or injuries receive less attention than communicable diseases in lower income countries, but the burden on families and communities impacts economic development on a much larger scale.