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World Health Organization, Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care
World Health Organization Violence and Injury Prevention
The World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) has created guidelines for International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anaesthesia, incorporating and elaborating upon the core components of the Safe Anaesthesia part of the 2008 World Health Organization's World Alliance for Patient Safety "Safe Surgery Saves Lives" global initiative. These WFSA standards are intended to provide guidance and assistance to anaesthesia professionals, their professional societies, hospital and facility administrators, and governments for improving and maintaining the quality and safety of anaesthesia care.
Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence Today (ASAP Today)
ASAP Today, formerly the Global Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group, is comprised of surgeons, anesthesiologists, public health scholars, economists and others interested in better defining the role of surgery in global public health. Areas of focus include defining and assessing the global burden of surgical disease, evaluating barriers to access and delivery of surgery in low-resource settings, improving data collection in low- and middle-income countries, exploring effective coverage for surgical and perioperative services, and advocating for sustainable support of global surgical programs. The website includes a comprehensive bibliography on the subject as well as links to presentations delivered at its annual meetings.
The Society of International Humanitarian Surgeons (SIHS) is a New York City based non-profit effort to improve surgical care in resource-poor environments by supporting hospitals and surgical programs with staffing and training. In addition, SIHS is involved in the assessment of the burden of surgical disease.
Brigham and Women's Hospital Surgery and Public Health Initiative
Global Health Delivery Project
Global Partners in Anesthesia and Surgery (GPAS) is a collaborative effort of faculty, residents, and students in the Departments of Surgery and Anesthesia, and the Schools of Medicine and Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Through mutually beneficial partnerships with universities and other organizations in low income countries, GPAS aims to develop and implement strategies to reduce the global burden of surgical disease and to improve the quality of perioperative care. Projects include workforce expansion and training, health systems development, faculty and trainee exchanges, and collaborative research projects.
The Council on Surgical & Perioperative Safety is a multidisciplinary coalition of professional organizations whose members are involved in the care of surgical patients. Its mission and vision are to promote and create a culture of patient safety and a caring perioperative workplace environment for all members of the surgical team. The Council's goals include providing opportunities for dialog, joint education, and coordinated advocacy efforts.
Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that promotes an improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace.
The Bellagio Essential Surgery Group (BESG) is committed to raising international awareness to increase access to surgical services in resource constrained settings in sub-Saharan Africa. Through cross-country collaborations, it works in partnership with governments and agencies committed to addressing the surgical burden of disease. The BESG aims to increase access to essential surgical services by advocating for the integration of surgery into health systems; networking surgical providers, public health practitioners, policy makers and researchers; and promoting the development of projects, training programs and priority research.
The Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), founded by leading North American university global health programs, builds collaborations and exchange of knowledge and experience among interdisciplinary university global health programs working across education, research and service. CUGH aims to define the field and discipline of global health; standardize required curricula and competencies for global health; define criteria and conditions for student and faculty field placements in host institutions; and provide coordination of projects and initiatives among and between resource-rich universities and less-developed nations and their institutions.
The Humanitarian Academy at Harvard is dedicated to educating and training current and future generations of humanitarian leaders in the areas of human rights, disaster response, humanitarian service delivery, crisis leadership, and other dimensions of humanitarian studies. Courses and programs are available for graduate students.
The Ptolemy Project provides free full-text access to the University of Toronto's electronic library to 300 surgeons in east Africa and assesses how they use the information received, with the ultimate goal of training a group of surgical educators for the east African region.
The Global Library of Women’s Medicine is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed collection of 442 chapters on women’s medicine developed from the highly-acclaimed, six-volume, encyclopedic textbook Gynecology & Obstetrics, first published in 1934 and edited for the last 30 years by Professor John J. Sciarra. In addition to the comprehensive collection of chapters on women’s medicine, the site provides clinical guidance for safer motherhood, visual atlases, surgical videos, and patient resources.
The HINARI Programme, set up by WHO together with major publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Free or very low-cost access to more 6400 journal titles is available to health institutions in 108 countries, areas and territories benefiting many thousands of health workers and researchers, and in turn, contributing to improved world health.
Online Global Health Course, discusses the importance of best practices to effect widespread, fundamental change in global health, and raises awareness and understanding that "worst practice" principles that are often employed by some organizations can do significant harm.
The Branch for International Surgery, within the surgery-related departments of the University of British Columbia, offers several online graduate courses.
SURG 510: Surgical Care in International Health covers topics such as the global burden of surgical disease and disability, global maternal mortality, surgical care education in global low-resource settings, and the role of surgical care professionals as advocates in international health. The intended audiences for this course are graduate level students, postgraduate trainees, and surgeons or surgery-related health practitioners; non-medical graduate students or others may register with permission from the instructor.
SURG 512: Global Disability: A Surgical Care Mandate explores the relationship of
surgery to preventing and treating disabling impairments in lower income countries. Focus is on sensory impairments (blindness and deafness) and physical impairment that causes disability. This course is designed for professionals in the surgical care disciplines, rehabilitation, CBR and disability practitioners, and managers in the health NGO community. Graduate students in other faculties including the rehabilitative sciences with
an interest in disability within limited resource environments are also encouraged to apply.
Global Health Course: Clinical Tropical, Migrant and Travel Medicine
Meetings and Events
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Humanitarian Action Summit
In 1999, a program on humanitarian crises and human rights was established at Harvard. In March 2009, the third meeting of the Humanitarian Action Summit will expand its focus to include a discussion of the surgical burden of disease in addition to examinations of protection of civilians in armed conflict, information and data management, human resources development, mental health, and sector collaboration and collective action. The Summit is a multi-sector collaboration that brings together leaders in education, law, business, policy, human rights, and medicine to share their expertise and lead the discussion on these critical components of international crises.
For a complete listing of dates and locations of upcoming meetings of interest, click here.
Articles and News
World Journal of Surgery
Leow JJ, Groen RS, Kingham TP, Casey KM, Hardy MA, Kushner AL.Surgery, Jun 2012; 151(6): 770-8.
Maki J, Qualls M, White B, Kleefield S, Crone R
BMC Health Services Research, 2008;8: 121.
This article describes a potential tool for evaluating the quality of care of short-term medical missions.