What is Global Surgery?
When putting out a search on Google for the term ‘’Global Surgery’’, the phrase ‘’what is’’ most often precedes it. To GSA it is striking that the topic of global surgery is unfamiliar to so many. How is it possible that on a planet with 7.9 billion people, 5 billion do not have access to safe surgical care?
Did you know?
“Two thirds of the world population does not have access to safe surgical care
One world, one standard of care
Global surgery aims to achieve safe, sustainable and multidisciplinary surgical care for all 7.9 billion people in the world. To achieve this goal you have to locally evaluate what type of care people need; if, how and when they access care; and the quality of that care.
“80% of the surgical need can be met through relatively simple surgical interventions
Great need for Surgical care
A picture, or in this case a graph, is worth a thousand words. The surgical burden is much higher than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB combined. A logical step forward would be to put funding there where it is needed the most: surgery.
Too little safe access to care
Access to help has been translated in the ‘’Three Delays Framework’’: finding help, reaching help and receiving help. Some of the local problems people face are:
- Finding help: high costs, lack of trust in medical care, no hospital in the area
- Reaching help: no transport, costs, no or not the needed medical expert
- Receiving help: lack of supply, poor hospital infrastructure, little expertise, money
Why measure quality of care?
We have learned that 5 billion people lack safe surgical care, but how do we define safe surgery? To collectively answer this question The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery created 6 indicators to measure the surgical quality of a healthcare system. It is only by keeping track of surgical quality that we know which steps need to be taken.
“For a 5 billion people problem, we need more than a few for a solution
Future of Global Surgery
Step one has been achieved through you reading this blog; we raised awareness. Step two is a call to action and step three, four and five we are figuring out together. We need to find a way to connect, because for a 5 billion people problem, we need more than a few for a solution!
Want to continue reading about Global Surgery? Here are some additional resources we recommend.
Global Surgery: Defining an emerging global health field
Assessing trauma care systems in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and evidence synthesis mapping the Three Delays Framework to injury health system assessments