May 18, 2015

Surgery is Finding its Place in Global Health

"The global burden of disease amenable to surgical intervention, such as trauma, cancer, and complications from childbirth, is substantial and growing. Despite this, there are currently gross disparities in access to safe surgical care worldwide." This introduction to the April 28, 2015 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery helps set the stage for the growing presence (and acceptance) of surgery in the global health arena.

The introduction continues:
"Surgery is an integral, indivisible component of a properly functioning health system, and all people should have access to safe, high-quality surgical and anesthesia care with financial protection when needed. The purpose of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery is to make this vision a reality by embedding surgery within the global health agenda, catalysing political change, and defining scalable solutions for provision of quality surgical and anesthesia care for all."

View Lancet Commission article here.

View related articles here.

Coincidently, National Public Radio hosted an interview on the same day with a US surgeon who has adapted surgical techniques to treat hydrocephalic children in Uganda.  According to the interview with neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Warf, when he first began working on global health projects most were focused on non-surgical issues like sanitation or vaccines and he was hard-pressed to find a path to use his surgical skills. "Surgery in general, and neurosurgery in particular, were regarded as luxuries of the industrialized world," Warf says.

Read/listen to NRP article here.