The burden of pediatric surgical conditions in low and middle income countries: a call to action

J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Dec;47(12):2305-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2012.09.030.


Recently, the role of surgery in global health has gained greater attention, although pediatric surgery has received little specific emphasis. This paper highlights pediatric surgical conditions as a part of global public health, and identifies gaps in knowledge and possible areas of action for the global pediatric surgical community. The burden of disease concept is discussed with examples of its application to pediatric surgery, and further information required to improve measurement of the global burden of pediatric surgical conditions. In addition, selected tools to measure access to surgical care and the unmet need for surgery in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are reviewed, with recent innovative approaches and other possible adaptations to pediatric surgery. Finally, some of the strategies used to improve access to care for pediatric surgical conditions are discussed, with possible future directions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developing Countries*
  • Female
  • General Surgery / economics*
  • General Surgery / trends
  • Global Health
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / economics*
  • Pediatrics / trends
  • Poverty*
  • Socioeconomic Factors