Our three main objectives are (1) to create awareness for the need of the surgical patient in low and middle income countries, (2) to unite initiatives to improve the surgical healthcare in these resource-limited settings and (3) to assure the quality of surgical training for the Dutch residents ‘global health and tropical medicine’.
The global burden of disease that needs surgical care (such as trauma, cancer, and complications from childbirth) consists currently of one third of all diseases on this planet. And it is a growing problem. Despite this, there are big differences in access to safe surgical care worldwide. Surgery is an integral, indivisible component of properly functioning health care systems. All people should have access to safe, high-quality surgical and anesthesia care.
So what do we do?
In the Netherlands we:
- advocate for safe surgical care on local, national and international meetings (as member of the G4 Alliance).
- support the unique training program in the Netherlands to become Medical Doctor in Global Health and Tropical Medicine, assisting the teaching institute (OIGT) with the surgical parts of the training. (for more information: KNMG opleiding tot arts internationale gezondheidszorg en tropengeneeskunde en Dutch training Doctor in International Health and Tropical Medicine.
The practical surgical training activities include yearly events like:
-Gastro-intestinal surgery day, including bowel suturing workshop.
-Wound management, including skingrafts, local flaps and tendon suturing workshop.
-Complexe fracture management day, including external fixation workshop.
-Hernia repair evening.
- provide several teaching programs for medical students at several universities in the Netherlands on global health and programs to prepare interns for internships abroad.
- support publications about ‘global surgery’ See articles
- organized in 2014 an international symposium on ‘Surgery in Low Resource Settings‘ in Amsterdam. This meeting did result in the Amsterdam Declaration on Essential Surgical Care
- develop a world map named Linking Doctors, for more cooperation amongst (surgical) health workers.
In low and middle income countries we:
- assist in improving surgical care linking local doctors and organizations in need for assistance (clinical, research, organizational, teaching etc.) to experts from our network
- provide advices on clinical and practical questions from doctors in the field with our Consult Online expert panel: Article about Consult Online (in dutch)
- inform and advice specialists that want to work in low and middle income countries about the possibilities and pitfalls. Example: Code of Conduct
- provide online links to useful books and information