You are twice more likely to die following an operation in Africa than undergoing surgery elsewhere in the world research in the Lancet medical journal reveals.
As worrying as this is, what is even more alarming is the fact that there are few Africans undergoing surgery in advance –elective surgery- to address sickness on time.
“The real sad thing is that there is a lot of surgery obviously that is not happening,” Prof Bruce Biccard said. “That is probably a huge killer in Africa,” Biccard, a co-author of the latest study from the University of Cape Town told the Guardian.
According to the researcher the main problem is lack of adequate staff to spot complications.
“[The reason] that people do so terribly in Africa from a surgical point of view is that there are just no human resources,” he said.
The research which worked with 25 countries was the largest study of its kind to ever be done in Africa.
To decrease the risk of death following surgery, the recommended figure is 20–40 such specialists per 100,000 population. With such a deficit, meeting the need is highly unlikely in the near future. As such, the researchers suggest creation of systems that can detect high-risk patients and help them on time.
In conclusion Biccard said: the latest study “reminds us also about the importance of the surgical journey – looking after patients from the minute they present in hospital, through surgery and, really importantly, the ability to care for patients in the post-operative period,” he said.