Lancet Commission Report
On April 27th and 28th at the London headquarters of the Royal Society of Medicine, the first official report of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery was presented.
The event intended to exhibit the main results of the
scientific commission composed of different working groups who aimed at
focusing on the reality of unequal access to surgery on a global level. The
Pontifical Academy for Life was also involved in the work used in the formation
of the Report.
points of the presentation of this report pertain to:
review of a grave social injustice:
– around 5 million people have no access to
essential surgical procedures that regard: cesarean birth, laparotomy, and the
treatment of compound fractures;
- around 143 million surgical procedures would be
required in order to begin to answer the essential needs of the world
- around 33 million persons are dealing with costs
that are economically catastrophic on an individual level when seeking access
to surgical treatments.
need for surgery is transverse to any illness from birth (birth complication)
to old age (for example, cataract)
of personnel for surgery in countries of low and middle income (for example,
one half of the world’s population is served by one sixth of surgeons).
numbers, the quality of training is likewise important and must be based on the
needs of the community. Tasksharingis
preferred over taskshiftingas
strategy of implementation.
importance of identifying the indicators of surgical care (for example,
maternal mortality, capacity of managing catastrophe, etc.).
particular aspect in addition to all this is intervention in the event of
disaster and humanitarian emergencies; the efficaciousness of treatment in
these situations is possible only when there are concrete health care systems
already in place (the emergency created by Ebola demonstrated the fragility of
health care systems).
of the obstacles in countries of low and middle income:
- on a community level (cultivate awareness of
hospital necessities because many prefer to seek out local persons to the
effect of delaying contact with efficacious treatment)
- distance from the hospitals and general
- economical difficulties
- hospital related (normal upkeep of instruments,
blood supply, staff formation, etc.)
of the Lancet Commission:
- offer real data and translate this data into
- identify strategies for operation and support
political systems (that is, improvements of infrastructures in countries that
allow hospital access);
- creation of a network of experts for the
independent and responsible study of these issues.
of the Lancet Commission:
- responsibility is an attitude that must guide
the work and decisions of research and medicine in the future;
- research and producing data is strongly
- the adoption of national health care programs is
- treatment strategies must consider the specific
realities in each country (generalizations in strategy do not work).
Conclusion: investment in the
extension of surgical procedures on a global level is economically sustainable
and will save lives while stimulating economic growth.
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