Following the review of Surgery on the Shoulders of Giants from theBookbag.co.uk (click here for review), I was asked for an interview by the website for a more personal insight into the book, with some very probing and powerful questions.
I have copied one of the questions and answers here, but please follow the link below to read the entire interview, discussing my views on global surgery, wishes for the future and dealing with corruption.
BB: Do you feel that we in the ‘first’ world are generous enough to others who don’t have our advantages? How do you feel about suggestions that the overseas aid budget should be cut?
SN: Sadly we are far away from a universal health service where impoverished people throughout the world have access to safe care. The recent Lancet Commission in 2015 has stated that 5 billion people still do not have access to safe surgery. It is only when you see operating room after operating room – with no sterile water, no anaesthetic machines, broken equipment and supplies, limited electricity and other gaping infrastructure problems that you know that the discrepancy between low income countries and the rest of the world is too much to accept. Although the World Health Organisation, along with other stakeholders, has proposed a Global Surgical Programme to improve global access to safer surgery by 2030, the challenges and resources still required are enormous. Reducing the overseas aid budget is only going to make these discrepancies worse, promoting further inequality and disparity between all people of the world. This will only lead to more hardship, conflict and distress – which inevitably affect us all.
The full interview can be read by clicking here.