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Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

An open process to promote surgery as a public health measure

Welcome to the June 2015 newsletter of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 
Greetings and thank you all again for two incredibly successful launches of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery! It was quite a feat to conduct two large-scale global conferences within a week of each other, and the outcomes thus far have been extremely positive! Already, with many of you, we are creating pathways for enhanced multisectoral collaborations. Please see the links below to find The Commission report and other supporting materials:
Future Regional Launches
We are getting excited for upcoming regional launches in Australia and South Africa.  Discussions are underway for additional regional launches in other locations around the world.  Stay tuned for more details!
Driving the Commission Forward
Several key meetings have taken place since the Commission launches, propagating a steady increase of momentum, traction, and awareness of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and our recommendations and core surgical indicators across multiple sectors. Some examples are listed below:

68th World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland: May 18-26
On May 22, the 68th WHA passed the WHO's Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anesthesia resolution (A 68/31) as a Component of Universal Health Coverage. Spearheaded by Emmanuel Makasa of Zambia, one of our Bellagio Commissioners, the resolution had overwhelming support among the ministers who spoke, and there was a call for support on implementation post-resolution, in which The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery indicators played--and will continue to play--a defining role.  

World Health Assembly plenary with delegates
68th WHO World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland

Photo credited to:
GE Health Summit, Crotonville, NY: May 27-29
The GE Foundation had its first ever Developing Health Summit inviting global health stakeholders from the US and around the world to build on the progress that has been made since the inception of the launch of GE Foundation’s signature program - Developing Health Globally - in 2004.  The Summit was at Crotonville, GE’s famous education center and the site of all of GE’s transformative strategic change initiatives popularized by Jack Welch. The meeting highlighted a broad scope of innovations and ideas, with presentations and discussions ranging from the potential for a Global Fund for Health Systems Strengthening (HSS), to the GE philosophy on employee engagement, education and leadership training; from Project ECHO, showing the benefits of utilizing tele-education to link local care providers with specialists to improve access to care in rural or underserved communities in New Mexico and other US states, to the importance of support from organizations like Global Health Corps. Also included in the agenda was a very insightful and informative lecture on GE's Fastworks projects, explaining how GE has adopted the lean innovation technique for product development, using clear metrics for assessment throughout the iterative process.  

We thank the organizers and team at GE for allowing the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery to be an active participant at this incredible meeting; their continued support and drive has--and will continue to be--instrumental in helping us reach our post-2015 goals.  
John Meara at the GE Health Summit; photo courtesy of John Meara
The annual global surgery and anesthesia conference, The Bethune Round Table, was held in Calgary, Canada on June 4-6, 2015, hosted by The Centre for Global Surgery at The University of Calgary.  Following tradition, it was a terrific and engaging conference that brought together providers from all over the world to discuss groundbreaking research and practical experiences in global surgery.  Presentations ranged from building multidisciplinary breast cancer clinics in Rwanda to applying lessons learned in aeronautic telemedicine in order to provide care in remote areas of Nicaragua.  The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery was grateful to be a part of the program and to have the opportunity to share our key findings and recommendations with the experienced and knowledgeable audience.  We met so many engaging and dedicated individuals at the Bethune Round Table, and we look forward to working together with many of them in the future.  Live tweets from the conference can be found on Twitter with the hashtag #BRT2015.  Please join us for The Bethune Round Table 2016 where Dr. John Meara, Lead Commissioner of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, will give the keynote address.  More details to follow regarding this event later in the year.  
Calgary, Canada
Photo credited to:

The Health Measurement and Accountability Summit at The World Bank, Washington, DC: June 9-11
The World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) brought together ministers of health and leaders from the global health community at The Health Measurement and Accountability Summit in Washington DC, June 9-11, to endorse a unified call to action on measurement in health, post-2015. Highlights included participants from stakeholders around the world who participated in presentations and panel discussions to emphasize data’s capability to revolutionize health care.  More details on the Roadmap for Health Measurement and Accountability are available at and live tweets from the event can be found on Twitter with the hashtag #MA4Health.
The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery is grateful to the organizers of the MA4Health summit for the opportunity to attend and participate in the meeting, as well as for exploring the possibility of incorporating the Commission’s six core surgical system indicators within the World Bank’s World Development Indicators (WDI). More details to come as progress is made in collecting the surgical system indicators around the world over the next six months.

Live cartoon drawing from the World Bank meeting; artist: Abby VanMuijen 
Photo courtesy of Johanna Riesel
Thank you!
Thank you all for your continued support and dedication to improve universal access to safe, affordable, surgical and anesthesia care when needed. This work would not be possible without you! 

Our thoughts continue to be with all of the patients and providers battling Ebola in West Africa.


Visit our Lancet website, which contains information about the Commission, as well as recent articles and podcasts. We are also still available on as well as Twitter and Facebook.

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