Almost six in 10 deaths could have been prevented in low- and middle-income countries. Because of the poor healthcare system and insufficient access to treatment, every year, almost five million people in those countries die, writes a report published this week in the Lancet medical journal.
From a total of 8.6 million total deaths that resulted from conditions which would have been treated, 3.6 million deaths were from the lack of access to treatment.
Usually, mothers and children from the low- and middle-income countries received less than half the interventions recommended. Such interventions would have been monitoring of blood pressure during birth or newborn checkups.
According to the study, deaths from conditions that could have been treated cost the global economy about $6 trillion in 2015. Researchers added that primary and hospital care had “systematic deficits.” One of the authors of the research, who is also the co-chairman of the Global Health Commission, Muhammad Pate, stated:
“For too long, the global health discourse has been focused on improving access to care without sufficient emphasis on high-quality care. Providing health services without guaranteeing a minimum level of quality is ineffective, wasteful and unethical.”
There is a “vast epidemic of low-quality care,” added Muhammad Pate.
Substandard health care was a main factor in 84% cardiovascular deaths, 81% diseases that could have been prevented with vaccines, and 61% complications after birth.
The report shows that less than 50% of tuberculosis cases were managed, and about one person in 10 ended up suffering a major depressive disorder after receiving a minimal adequate treatment, adding that:
“Diagnoses are frequently incorrect for serious conditions. Care can be too slow for conditions that require timely action, reducing chances of survival.”
Margaret Kruk of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who is the commission co-chair, stated that:
“Quality care should not be the purview of the elite, or an aspiration for some distant future; it should be the DNA of all health systems.”
Compared to the poor pregnant women, the wealthiest ones had four times more chances of getting blood and urine tests done and blood pressure monitored.
India is one of the countries that suffers the highest toll, having almost 1.6 million deaths a year resulted from substandard healthcare, wrote the study.
The study concludes that only when “health workers and policymakers choose to receive health care in their own public institutions,” countries will know that they have high-quality and accountable health systems.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.