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Surgery and Anaesthesia: conflict, poverty and development

May 20, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

Organized by the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), the G4 Alliance, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Lifebox, and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition

Surgery and Anaesthesia: conflict, poverty and development

Monday, May 20, 2019
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM

International Committee of the Red Cross
17 Avenue de la paix
1202 Geneva


Join us to meet and interact with speakers and leaders from surgery, anaesthesia, conflict and disaster management to discuss how governments and organisations can respond to providing and strengthening surgical and anaesthesia care in even the most challenging environments.

Providing quality health services is already challenging in many low-income countries. In conflict situations, those challenges are even more staggering. Health systems that are not resilient are often among the first casualties. Health worker and health facilities are deliberately targeted. As the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition tracks in its annual reports, far too many health workers are punished for trying to do their jobs. Despite important protections offered by the Geneva Conventions, legal frameworks are often used to hurt rather than help health workers. During intense conflict, many health workers often flee to save their lives.

Imagine trying to offer surgical care in a war zone, or wherever resources are scarce.

Surgical services are always challenging; war and poverty exacerbate these challenges. In any environment, the need for essential surgery and anaesthesia will remain.

In 2015, the World Health Assembly (WHA) unanimously passed Resolution 68.15: Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as a component of universal health coverage. As stated in WHA Resolution 68.15, Member States are urged to ‘promote emergency and essential surgery and anaesthesia capacity as components integral to achieving universal health coverage’. The Resolution also noted that ‘emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia are a neglected but efficacious and cost-effective addition to the basic package of health services and that strengthening emergency and essential surgical capacity together with anaesthesia, particularly at the first-level referral hospitals, is a highly cost-efficient solution to the global burden of disease’. However, despite this commitment, there remains a lack of access to safe, timely and affordable surgical, anaesthesia and perioperative care.

For additional information please contact comms@wfsahq.org.

Click here for directions to the International Committee of the Red Cross.


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May 20, 2019
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm UTC+0
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Multiple Partners or Sponsors


ICRC Humanitarium