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In countries with a shortage of surgeons, other health care workers can fill in the gaps

To combat the shortage of surgeons, Ethiopia is training health care workers who aren't surgeons to work in teams to do surgery when needed.

When my wife went into labor in 2006, I was responsible for just two things: calling our obstetrician and making the 20-minute drive to a private maternity hospital in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

Things were much harder for my uncle Mamo and his wife, Adanech, when she went into labor at home in their rural Ethiopian village. After she was in labor for two days with little progress, it was clear that she and the baby were in danger.

She urgently needed surgery — a caesarean section.

That meant

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