Nearly 11 million people are burned each year (one every five seconds).  Over 96 percent of fatal fire-related burns occur in low- and middle-income countries. Why? Poverty. Nearly half of the world still uses open flames for cooking, heating, or lighting. Women and children are at particular risk. Those who survive their burns are often permanently disabled, costing more than $4 billion per year in lost productivity. Some burn victims are shunned from their communities too. This is all because of the pernicious nature of burn scars. When a burn is left to heal on its own due to the distance or cost of receiving treatment, tightening scar tissue can disfigure and ruin the function of an appendage: a hand contracts into an immovable fist; or a foot fuses to the shin, making it impossible to walk. 

ReSurge has been helping burn victims around the world for decades — in fact burn treatment constitutes nearly 50 percent of our work. Our expert surgical teams release scar contractures to restore movement, allowing people to lead productive lives once again. We also train local medical professionals on burn treatment techniques and send teams to help them deal with the untreated backlog of burn injuries in their communities.

Traffic and Other Accidents

More than a million people are killed each year in traffic accidents and 20 to 50 million are injured. About 90 percent of them live in developing countries even though those countries have only 54 percent of the world’s automobiles. Those that survive their injuries often become permanently disabled because they don’t have access to reconstructive surgery.

Why so many traffic accidents in these countries? There are many causes: Roads are less safe, they lack sidewalks or bicycle lanes, vehicles are less safe, the use of protective devices like seatbelts and helmets is lower, and more. Nearly half of those injured are “vulnerable road users” — pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. The impact of this issue is enormous: The World Health Organization estimates road traffic injuries cost these countries 3% of their Gross Domestic Product each year due to the cost of care, lost wages and productivity, and the need for family members to take time off to help their loved ones. What’s more, without action traffic injuries are expected to keep rising and become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
By increasing access to reconstructive surgery in these countries, we can save lives, help people resume a productive life, and prevent a needless drain on their families, communities, and countries
More than 2/3 of cancer cases and deaths now occur in developing countries.
A child born with a cleft in a developing country will lose nearly 8x the years to premature disability or death as one in a rich country