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Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

An open process to promote surgery as a public health measure

Welcome to the May newsletter of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery.

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Help Needed with Questionnaires

The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery needs your help and wants your feedback. We are working to advance safe, accessible surgery and anesthesia as a public health measure, with a particular focus in low- and middle-income countries.  The commissioners would like to hear as many perspectives as possible to inform their recommendations. In order to do this, the commissioners invite all providers to complete the following questionnaire, and to share it with colleagues, surgical and anaesthesia colleges, and any other organizational bodies that might be able to further distribute it.  Included are the links to the six languages into which the survey has been translated thus far.


Thank you very much for your help!

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Updates Regarding Regional Meetings and Side Events

A regional meeting was held in Singapore on May 5, 2014 within the RACS/ANZCA International Forum, held in conjunction with ASAP.  David Watters, Rowan Gillies, Russell Gruen, Nobhojit Roy and Kelly McQueen gave presentations about the work of the Commission.

A Reception for Global Surgery and Anaesthesia Partners was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva on May 21, 2014.  This was co-hosted by the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and Chris Lavy gave an overview of the work of the Commission.
Latin America:
Two regional meetings are being planned in Latin America for 2014.  The first is being planned in Colombia for July and the second in Brazil for August.  Stay tuned for additional information.


The 2nd Commission meeting is scheduled for June 19th and 20th in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The majority of invitees are stakeholders and providers from Sub-Saharan Africa.  The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the work of the Commission over the past five months, and to develop consensuses on a variety of key issues.


Additional Ways to Get Involved with the Commission
There are multiple ways for you to get involved with the Commission work.  Specifically, we need help with the following things:

  • QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS WITH MINISTRIES OF HEALTH OR HEALTH GOVERNING BODIES --- This is a qualitative interview regarding health priorities, and data use and collection for people working within ministries of health.  We need assistance identifying ministry contacts and completing the interviews.  Please contact us at to get involved.  Additional details can be found here
  • QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS WITH PROVIDERS IN LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES = THE HOW PROJECT --- This is a qualitative interview with rural surgical providers to explore the challenges faced in delivering surgical care.  We need assistance identifying provider contacts and completing the interviews.  Please contact us at to get involved.  Additional details can be found here
  • SURGEON MAPPING --- This is a data collection and mapping project seeking to find what percentage of the population of a country lives within 2 hours of a surgeon.  We need assistance finding data on the location of surgeons within low- and middle-income countries.  Please contact us at to get involved.  Additional details can be found here

Global Surgery News – The World Health Assembly
Support for global surgery is increasing.  A well-attended and well-received side event for Improving Safe Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia was held on May 21, 2014 at the 67th World Health Assembly.  On May 26, 2014, the World Health Assembly Executive Board unanimously passed the agenda item “Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage.”  This means that this item will now be considered for a resolution at the 68th World Health Assembly in 2015.


Several global surgery articles were published on behalf of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery recently.  Click on the titles below to access the articles on our website:
Global surgery: defining an emerging global health field
Published in The Lancet May 2014
Investing in obstetric surgery and anaesthesia to close the gap in maternal mortality
Published in The Lancet May 2014
Cost-effectiveness of surgery and its policy implications for global health: a systematic review and analysis
Published in The Lancet Global Health June 2014


Visit our new Lancet website, containing information about the commission, as well as recent articles and podcasts. We are also still available on

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Call for Comments to the Lancet Commission


The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery invites you to post a comment regarding topics pertaining to global surgery that you believe should be priorities for the Commission to address. Comments should be no more than 500 words and should be written in English, French or Spanish. They can be posted here. The deadline for comment submission is May 30th, 2014.

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