In recent years several landmark publications have made the case for Global Surgery as a vital component of universal health coverage, highlighting that nearly one-third of the global burden of disease is attributed to conditions treatable by surgery. Less than 6% of all surgical operations are carried out in LMICs where over a third of the population lives, and a huge scale up in surgical services and workforce is needed urgently. Surgery is a cost effective global health strategy and the economic return on investment is substantial, a staggering five billion people lack access to safe, timely and affordable surgical care.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group-Surgical Technologies (GHRG-ST) based in Leeds UK was established in July 2017 aims to address unmet surgical needs in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The group will utilise Leeds expertise from surgery, global health sciences, clinical trials, surgical engineering and health economics to collaborate with in-country partners, industry and governmental representatives.
GHRG-ST has developed projects to address unmet surgical needs in North East India and Sierra Leone. The objectives are to improve surgical care to populations who live in remote areas where surgical provision is limited. Our projects involve a mix of surveys to identify areas of surgical need, engineering solutions to improve surgical care, evaluation of treatments to include health economic evaluation and engagement and advocacy activities to promote wider adoption and sustainability.
This research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Groups and Units (16/137/44) using UK aid from the UK Government to support global health research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the UK Department of Health and Social Care