A new study by the Kids Operating Room has found that nine out of every 11 children in the world do not have access to safe surgical care if they need it, and 54 million people are added each year to the list of those who do not need much-needed surgery.
Garrett Wood, chairman of the charity he co-founded with his wife Nicola in 2018, said that young people are “dying at an astounding rate because they can’t access the safe surgery they need” and that “a huge proportion of children in the world has a broken leg.” represents a lifelong disability, and appendicitis is a death sentence.”
“All children around the world should have access to the timely life-saving care they deserve,” he said. “Unfortunately, this report shows that we are still far from equitable access to safe surgery for children.”
Fund manager Artemis supports a charity providing surgeries to children in Africa…
KidsOR is helping to run life-saving operations for children in some of the world’s poorest countries and recently opened its landmark 50th OR with a goal of installing 120 new ORs in Africa by 2030.
A report by the charity Unmet Need for Pediatric Surgery in 2022 states that the average distance traveled to access surgery was 200 km, with some children traveling up to five days for treatment.
And the charity and its research partners at the University of California, San Francisco found that 87% of children who cannot get surgery live in low- and middle-income countries, with 33 African countries experiencing a severe shortage of healthcare workers. .
The researchers said that in countries with a developed system of surgical care, adults often gave preference, which delayed the time needed to visit children.
“In areas without surgical care systems, children die unnecessary deaths or, at best, are too often left to live with a debilitating condition that can be surgically treated,” the authors of the report add.
And in the paper, the researchers also found a financial incentive to improve access for children in poorer countries.
Where KidsOR opened cinemas the economic benefit is $31,097 per operation depending on the severity of the surgical condition, the number of years the child will contribute to the economy as a healthy individual, and the average life expectancy in the country.
Mr Wood said: “Across the world, children are dying at an astounding rate because they cannot access the safe surgery they need.
“These are preventable deaths, but without change, the international community will perpetuate a situation where the poor rely on the rich and, worse, the poorest will never be able to access the health care they need to reach their potential.”
The charity also found that prior to the installation of an operating room, 19% of surgeries were missing surgical equipment and 40% were missing essential anesthesia equipment.
Although sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 24% of the global burden of disease in 2010, they accounted for only 3% of the world’s health workers.