Saturday, February 25, 2012

News Brief: Global Surgical Initiatives to Reduce the Surgical Burden of Disease

Joshua Dower

In the event of an accident or a medical emergency, victims must rely on proper surgical care to ensure their survival. In developing countries, however, there is a dearth of these surgical services and the WHO, along with funding agencies and nongovernmental organizations, has decided to focus on training the required medical personnel to help alleviate this problem. Even though the WHO has centered its attention on the infectious diseases affecting developing countries in the past few years, it is shifting its attention in this case because of the importance of this care. Based on a World Bank study commissioned in 1991 and updated annually, 11% of premature deaths could have been avoided had proper surgical care been available at the time of the accident; this is a significant population that could have been saved. Current surgical systems in the developing world today are meek: 26% of the world’s operations are done in the poorest countries, which make up 70% of the world’s population. This is clearly disproportionate. It is difficult to determine the cost of these interventions, but the WHO plans to begin certain initiatives to help make the countries more self-sustainable in these fields. For example, they hope to encourage surgical residencies in these countries in which medical residents will work with local doctors and they will train each other. This will allow local practitioners to become more qualified to assist in different medical situations. Additionally, they hope to train first responders more in depth medical techniques that will increase the possibility of a victim’s survival. This process will be long and difficult, but once the WHO fully understands the scope of this issue, they will be more capable of improving the situation.

Reference: Tollefson, Travis T, Larrabee Jr, Wayne F, "Global Surgical Initiatives to Reduce the Surgical Burden of Disease". JAMA. Web. Feb 22 2012.
blog comments powered by Disqus

TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, and Policy

TuftScope is a student journal published biannually in conjunction with Tufts University since 2001. Funding is provided by the Tufts Community Union Senate. The opinions expressed on this weblog are solely those of the authors. The staff reserves the right to edit blog postings for clarity and to remove nonfunctional links.

  © Free Blogger Templates Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP