Why People Die After Surgery In Our Part of the World.


“Patients undergoing in Africa are more than twice as likely to die following an operation than the global average, researchers say.”

Why are people dying after surgery?

In Nigeria, you hear different stories about people scared to have surgery because they have heard scary stories about what happens before, during and after surgery. The reasons people give for choosing not to have surgery or being scared to have surgery include:

  1. Quack doctors and hospitals
  2. Lack of power (what if power goes when you’re on the table?)
  3. Uncertain outcomes
  4. Institutional delays. In some General and Teaching Hospitals you may have to wait up to two years to have elective surgery
  5. Cost

In this report by The BBC we are made to understand why this happens. “The study builds on the work of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery which last year found 5 billion people around the world don’t have access to safe surgery.

It was the largest study of its kind ever undertaken in Africa, analysing data of 11,422 adult patients across in 25 countries – including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa.

The most common surgery is caesarean delivery, which accounts for 33% of operations.”

Surprisingly the reason given for the poor outcomes of surgery in this part of the world is not any of the above but a lack of health care manpower. Manpower and appropriate facilities to spot when complications arise after surgery is sadly inadequate.

A common complication of most surgeries is infection. A surgery may have been largely successful but afterwards if infection sets in the success may be short lived. There needs to be adequate personnel and facilities to monitor and recognize this.

Also, It is no longer that Nigerian Healthcare practitioners are leaving the country in droves and little or nothing is being done to prevent this trend.

If this continues then sadly, the trend of poor surgery outcomes is still likely to continue as available manpower may not be able to cope.

Have you had surgery in Nigeria? What was your experience?



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