Africa’s silent killer: Lack of elective surgery

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BY  BBC NEWS/NAMULONGO PETER,4TH JAN,2018-Patients undergoing surgery in Africa are more than twice as likely to die following an operation than the global average, research in the Lancet medical journal reveals.

But researchers said the most worrying revelation was just how few Africans undergo elective surgery – surgery that is scheduled in advance. The number of these operations is 20 times fewer than the real need.

They called the deficit a “silent killer”.

Prof Bruce Biccard, a co-author of the study from the University of Cape Town, told the Guardian the main problem is insufficient medical 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.

It was the largest study of its kind ever undertaken in Africa, and included 25 countries.

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