Surgery Websites

Global Surgery Quick Facts

  • 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed.

An estimation of the global volume of surgerySurgical Burden Map

  • An estimated 16.9 million lives were lost in 2010 from conditions requiring surgical care.
  • About 5.8 million people die each year as a result of injuries. This accounts for 10% of the world’s deaths, 32% more than the number of fatalities that result from malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS combined.

WHO Injury      WHO Injury 2

  • Nearly 1/3 of the 5.8 million deaths from injuries are the result of violence.
  • Nearly ¼ of injury deaths are the result of road traffic incidents. 
  • Injury continues to rise in the rankings as a leading cause of death. Road traffic injuries are predicted to become the 5th leading cause of death by 2030.
  • 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to save lives and prevent disability.
  • 33 million individuals face catastrophic health expenditure due to payment for surgery and anesthesia each year.
  • Provision of essential surgical procedures would avert about 1.5 million deaths a year, or 6-7% of all avertable deaths in low- and middle-income countries.


  • Investment in essential surgical procedures is highly cost-effective.
  • Measures to expand access to surgery, such as task sharing, have been shown to be safe and effective while countries make long-term investments in building surgical and anesthesia workforces.
  • Substantial disparities exist in the safety of surgical care, driven by high perioperative mortality rates including anesthesia-related deaths in low- and middle-income countries. 
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