Have Surgeon, Will Travel
Modern medicine has changed people’s lives, with scientific breakthroughs being made every day. Despite these technological advancements, however, there’s a huge percentage of the world where accessing surgical care is arduous. This gap is particularly large in Africa, where the leading cause of death is preventable diseases.
Duke University neurosurgeon Michael Haglund accurately describes this problem here: “Imagine you get injured in northern Uganda and it takes 12 hours to get to the nearest hospital for surgery. A simple neck fracture or a blood clot can easily be fixed, but only if you’re able to treat it quickly.” Although HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria are common causes of death, lack of access to surgery kills 17 million people per year. That’s more than the total deaths of the three disease combined. By providing basic access to surgical care to the “bottom billion,” quite literally millions of lives would be saved.
In 2019, Mission to Heal is focusing on missions in African nations to make healthcare more accessible. We will partner with local medical facilities and continue to “train the trainers” so that we may leave a sustainable healthcare legacy.
If you would like to support these missions, we encourage you to donate online and apply for a mission. As NPR health writer Susan Brink put it, “it is as though surgery has become a luxury rather than a human right. That’s why we’re so active in this. There needs to be a much bigger noise around this.” Thanks for helping us “make more noise.”