Take Action: Surgery Organizations (Developing World)

Surgeon wearing surgical garb
  • Cleft lip/palate and other correctable conditions can cause speech problems, eating problems, and social ostracization.
  • Charities in this area sometimes send volunteer surgeons overseas and sometimes fund local surgeons to correct conditions.

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Source: GiveWell

 

Charities may send developed-world surgeons overseas to provide treatment directly or may train/fund surgeons in the developing world. The conditions they work on include:

  • Repairing cataracts, which can impair vision.
  • Repairing obstetric fistulas, which can be severely debilitating to young women.
  • Repairing cleft lip/palate conditions (a split in the lip or the roof of the mouth), which can cause speech and eating problems.

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Source: GiveWell

Donors should ask the following questions about surgery-focused charities:

  • What is the bottleneck to more surgeries: money or skilled labor? In many cases, funding may not be the bottleneck to more surgeries—surgeons are.
  • How is quality assured? Charities that fly developed-world surgeons overseas may be putting them in highly unfamiliar environments with unusually difficult conditions. Charities that support developing-world surgeons are relying on people whose medical education may be very different from what is standard in the developed world.
  • Many surgeries require followup care. Is it provided? When is one surgery enough?

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Source: GiveWell