The International Surgical Week was held in Helsinki, Finland August 25-29, 2013, where ICES chair Michael Cotton presented a paper on the Global Need for Essential Surgery, to attendees comprised of surgical societies from countries throughout the world. The paper was well received by the surgical community and was awarded “The Article of the Year”. Congratulations go to ICES and a thank you to the ISW community for the recognition.
At the conference, International leaders presented their ongoing work and projects for improving surgical care throughout the world to share novel ideas, approaches and resources on global surgical best practices.
Key discussion points raised during the conference from:
Sats Pillay, South Africa, ISS Secretary and Treasurer, asserts that at the current rate of training, "We will NEVER, EVER train enough surgeons to take care of the surgical needs of Africa", and so require that we think out of the box to address these needs.
Ian Ritchie, President Elect, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, echoed the need to think outside the box and come up with more immediate solutions.
The body of college leadership was challenged to determine what role they should play in a new approach to training and meeting the surgical needs of countries globally.
The facts remain:
2 Billion people worldwide have no access to surgery.
The poorest 1/3 of the world’s population receive only 3.5% of all surgical procedures performed.
>70,000 maternal deaths can be prevented with timely surgery. The recommended C-section rate is 5-15%, some believe it is closer to 20%. Developing countries show between 1-3% C-section rate, grossly under acceptable standards.
Manjul Joshipura presented updates on the WHO Global Alliance for Care of the Injured (GACI) and averred that 2 million lives can be saved with proper trauma care systems.
Brent Eastmann, president of the American College of Surgeons, states: "Train local providers- you will leave and they will stay".
With the overwhelming information and figures presented, it is evident that the lack of quality surgical care is now too large of a global health issue to ignore.
This event has opened a new dialogue among surgical leaders in terms of what can be done to foster change and create a proactive paradigm. Several ideas are circulating and require a consensus, with the importance of groups organizing into collective action to make effective and far reaching changes to current programs; to bring timely surgical care to the neediest people worldwide. ICES has been moving forward in its advocacy and efforts to unite the surgical and anesthetic community to bring the message that the world needs good, safe, and quality surgical care today.
Details available here: http://www.iss-sic.com/index.php?id=166