An open process to promote surgery as a public health measure

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

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

These are truly exciting times for Global Surgery.  As we wrap up 2015, year, we are pleased to inform you of progress that we have made in Madagascar, India, and Cape Verde. Thank you and happy reading!


This month, we salute Madagascar's Ministry of Health, who has committed to prioritizing the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery's Six Core Indicators on its national health agenda. In partnership with the non-governmental organization Mercy Ships and with Harvard Medical School’s Program for Global Surgery and Social Change, data is currently being collected at reference centers in each of Madagascar’s 22 regions. This data will form the basis of Madagascar’s National Surgical Plan, whose drafting is envisioned to begin in spring 2016.  It will focus on recommendations for scaling up Madagascar’s surgical infrastructure, workforce, service delivery, financing and information management. We look forward to the outcome of this effort and extend our sincere gratitude to all those involved in making surgical system strengthening a reality in Madagascar!


If you are interested in learning more, please read our report: Global Surgery 2030.


The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery launched its report, Global Surgery 2030, to an engaged crowd of rural practitioners from India and Nigeria at the Combined 23rd Annual Conference of the Association of Rural Surgeons of India (ARSI) and 6th Annual Conference of International Federation of Rural Surgeons (IFRS) in Karad, India.

In addition to informing the delegates about the Commission’s report, the launch was used to reach consensus on actionable next steps in improving surgical access to India’s poorest populations.  Lancet Commissioner and Health Delivery & Management Working Group Chair, Dr. Nobhojit Roy, led a writing team consisting of research fellows and associates at Harvard Medical School’s Program in Global Surgery and Social Change. The team interfaced with a group of twelve Indian rural surgeons to draft a consensus statement outlining the nine actionable items in the areas of surgical infrastructure, workforce, and blood deficits in rural India. The draft consensus statement was presented at the conference for general feedback and input, and has amassed 65 initial signatories.

The consensus statement with rural practitioners is the first  step of long-term implementation strategy in India. A finalized consensus statement will be produced and recirculated for approval by the end of December, leading up to a policy meeting in New Delhi with a diverse range of stakeholders in Spring 2016.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website at


Cape Verde

During a recent visit, representatives of the Commission met with leading clinicians across the country to gauge interest in participating in the work of the Commission and to better understand the current surgical landscape. The visit culminated in a meeting with representatives from the Cape Verdean Ministry of Health during which the Boston-based team representing the Commission proposed an in-depth review of the country’s surgical system. The proposed collaboration would include structured hospital visits to each of the country’s surgical facilities as well as an assessment of surgical indicators and would culminate in a National Surgical Forum in May of 2016.

If your country would like to participate, send us an email at
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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