Long Road to the OR

Around a third of the global disease burden is surgical, but relatively little is known about the accessibility to surgical treatments in sub-Saharan Africa.

A new study sheds some light, detailing how to better estimate access to surgery and factoring in geographic access obstacles, such as poor roads that could lengthen travel times, rather than using a single metric to measure access.

Researchers found that in sub-Saharan Africa, the need for surgery is between 257.8 million and 294.7 million people, and that 92.5% of the region’s population live within 2 hours of a major facility presumed capable of performing bellwether procedures. The true burden is likely much higher, the study notes.


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