An open process to promote surgery as a public health measure

Welcome to the February 2016 newsletter of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery continues to have exciting updates regarding our in-country collaborations. This month, we focus on recent developments in Ethiopia and Zambia. Be sure to join our global implementation calls to learn more about what is happening on the forefront of global surgery. Many thanks and happy reading!



From Left to Right: Dr. Swagoto Mukhopadhyay, Jennifer Geiger, and Dr. Sristi Sharma of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery with Dr. Milliard Derbew in Ethiopia

After piloting a mixed methods surgical capacity assessment tool in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, members of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and Harvard Medical School's Program in Global Surgery and Social Change are developing the qualitative analysis component for future standardized implementation. Partners who have supported this assessment include The GE Foundation, Jhpiego, Assist International, and the Surgical Society of Ethiopia. The initial implementation was restricted to five facilities; however, over the subsequent months the assessments will be expanded to other regions and 20 facilities in total. This will serve as the baseline to measure success of Safe Surgery 2020, the effort driven by GE to ensure safe access to surgical care.

If you are interested in learning more about the GE Foundation's global health efforts, please visit
From Left to Right: Dr. Swagoto Mukhopadhyay (Lancet Commission on Global Surgery), Emily Measures (Tropical Health Education Trust) , Dr. Kennedy Lishimpi (Director of Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services, Zambian Ministry of Health), Dr. Peter Mwaba (Permanent Secretary, Zambian Ministry of Health), Dr. Nakul Raykar (Lancet Commission on Global Surgery)


The Ministry of Health of Zambia hosted members of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery to begin a national surgical and anesthesia planning process. The Zambian government is in the midst of developing its next five-year strategic health plan for 2017-2021 and is keen to include a surgical and anesthetic component. The Ministry of Health is forming a Technical Working Group (TWG) on Surgery and Anesthesia, led by Dr. Kennedy Lishimpi, through which the Commission will facilitate the planning process. The TWG will have three subcommittees based on the domains of the Commission's Framework for a National Surgical Plan, and it will be led by and comprised of Zambian clinicians and health system managers. The initial process will commence in early March with a report produced by early June. The Commission thanks our many partners in this endeavor for their role in advancing this process, along with members of the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) for providing initial logistical support.

If you are interested in learning more about our implementation process, please visit!background/cq0cs.  


Lancet Commission on Global Surgery Global Implementation Call

The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery held its second global implementation conference call on Thursday, February 4, 2016.  Primary discussion was led by Professor Martin Smith, Academic Head of Surgery at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Professor Smith was joined Stephanie Van Straten and Sule Burger, President and Secretary of the Wits Students Surgical Society, respectively.  The team provided updates regarding progress made following South African National Forum on Surgery and Anaesthesia: an indispensable part of achieving universal health coverage, held in early December, 2015.

The next global implementation call will be held on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 10:30-11:30 AM EST.  Anyone who is a part of or interested in the work of the Commission is welcome to join these calls and encouraged to contact us

If you would like to join our implementation calls, please email


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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