Five billion people have no access to safe and affordable surgery.
Because of this, 17 million people die every year.
That's more than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS ... combined.
The economic effects of this shortage are massive.
Every year, 234 million people undergo surgery, but just 3.5 percent of those procedures happen in low-income countries.
From now until 2030, the shortage will cost the world's economies $12 trillion ... if nothing is done.
... Traditional medical missions that focus on treatment instead of teaching will never bridge the surgical gap.
Who's trying to fix it
Madaktari Africa: An NGO founded by Dr. Dilan Ellegala to teach brain surgery in Tanzania.
Partners in Health: An NGO co-founded by Dr. Paul Farmer that has an extensive training program in Rwanda and other countries.
WonderWork: a group co-founded by Brian Mullaney, who also co-founded Smile Train. WonderWork takes the Smile Train approach of teaching local caregivers to do simple surgical procedures.
Global Surgery Collaboration: A partnership that includes the University of California San Francisco and Uganda.
Lifebox: A group founded by surgeon and writer Atul Gawande.
Helping Babies Breathe: A train-the trainer program designed to help babies in their first few minutes of life.
"If you can teach brain surgery in a remote Tanzanian hospital, you can teach orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics -- anything."
Dr. Dilan Ellegala, neurosurgeon and founder of Madakari Africa and featured in Send Forth the Healing Sun.