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Compared to the global average surgery in Africa registers twice the number of surgery-related deaths than anywhere else in world. That is according to a group of researchers who were studying one of the continent’s biggest yet poorly investigated healthcare problem.

The team of researchers further unveiled that in Africa, patients who go under the knife have a lower risk profile compared to patients elsewhere. That is because most patients in Africa are young and more often than not, they are admitted with the need for minor surgeries. The typical surgery patient in Africa averages about 38.5 years old. However, 1 in five patients who went under the knife in Africa reported having later developed complications.

In cases of elective surgery – scheduled operations where there is no medical emergency – the death rate was 0.1% compared to the 0.5%, which is the global average. The researcher’s report was published in The Lancet medical journal, and it has been praised as the most in-depth and most comprehensive probe into surgery on the continent.

The research was conducted by a team of 30 researchers who dug into and sieved massive data from across 247 hospitals in 25 countries. Their goal was to cover the outcome on 10,855 in-patient surgeries, 34% of which were the caesarean section surgeries.

The data also included details about complications recorded per given hospital, the number of available beds, operating room facilities, and the surgical staff experience and qualifications among others. Cases of complication mainly result from infection; 18.2% of the cases were from infection.  Then one in 10% (9.5%) died from complications.

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