Emergency and essential surgical care

How can Surgery Meet the Need in the UN Millennium Development Goals?

Provision of essential surgical care is critical in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals in the following areas:

MDG 4: Reduce child mortality

  • 3% of deaths in children under five years old globally are due to injuries
  • 3% of infant deaths are due to congenital anomalies
  • 260, 000 deaths worldwide are caused by congenital anomalies
  • The more than 1 million children left motherless yearly are 10 times more likely to die prematurely

MDG 5: Improve maternal health

  • More than 350,000 deaths worldwide are due to complications of pregnancy, one-third of which can be treated with surgery
  • 8% of maternal deaths globally are due to obstructed labor
  • 68,000 women die from unsafe abortions every year and between 2 to 7 million women suffer from long-term damage of reproductive organs or disease
  • 1 out of 4 unsafe abortions will likely result in severe complications, even death.
  • 50,000 to 100,000 women develop obstetric fistulas each year
  • Over 2 million women currently live with obstetric fistulas

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other infectious diseases

  • Male circumcision reduces the risk of men acquiring HIV through heterosexual sex by 60%
  • HIV transmission in nonsurgical healthworkers is .27% compared with .7% for surgical health workers without appropriate guidelines for surgical safety
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