Let’s go fishing together: a focus on collaboration at the Royal Society of Medicine’s meeting on global surgery, anaesthesia and obstetrics
Five billion people do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed, 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed in low and middle income countries (LMICs) each year to save lives and prevent disability.1 The current state of global access to surgery is dire, not only is not enough surgery being carried out, but the health systems to support it are woefully inadequate.
Following the launch of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery on 27th April 2015, the Royal Society of Medicine yesterday hosted a conference on ‘Global Surgery, Anaesthesia and Obstetrics: Shifting paradigms and challenging generations’. This exciting and thought provoking meeting brought together surgical practitioners, students and educators to focus on the key messages of the commission and how to prepare the next generations of surgical teams to engage in global health.
The challenges include the over-specialization of current surgical training, which limits the clinical preparedness of surgeons for work in conflict zones and catastrophe (as discussed by David Nott, Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon at Imperial College NHS Trust); the lack of formal career path in global surgery and the facilitation of appropriate student training and placements (an issue addressed by Ged Byrne of Health Education England) and the problems arising in disaster situations from the influx of well-intentioned but often under-prepared or inappropriately skilled medical staff, highlighted by Nobhojit Roy (Chief of Surgery and Public Health Specialist, BARC Hospital, Mumbai).
The power of fishing
Professor Roy proposed a rota of visiting surgeons to ensure year-round high quality coverage, extending the proverb ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’ by saying that ‘we need to go fishing together’ by engaging in co-ordinated volunteerism and collaboration. He also made the critical point that collaboration must also extend to research in global surgery. He presented a striking analysis of the proportion of papers published on ‘disasters’ which focus on work carried out in LMICs, emphasising the inequity in published research output from these regions. We couldn’t agree more.
A little something from us
In support of this year’s Royal Society of Medicine Global Health conference, we are delighted to announce that the following collection of six recent RSTMH global surgery papers has been made freely available until 05 May 2015.
The papers are a mix of original articles, reviews and commentaries, published in both Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and International Health. With Professor Roy's comments on equity of authorship in mind, the articles we have chosen happen to be mostly derived from collaborations between authors from HIC and LMIC institutions, or LMICs alone, which is largely representative of the types of studies we publish. We hope you find these papers useful and interesting; we're keen to share them as widely as possible until 05 May, so do please pass the links on to your colleagues. Before you do, how about:
A little something from you?
We are currently inviting submissions of original research papers and systematic reviews in global surgery, anaesthesia and obstetrics. We work hard to support our authors who trust us with their work; take a look at all the reasons to publish with us. And now, back to those freely accessible papers.
Michelle Stanton, Emma Smith, Sarah Martindale, Square Mkwanda and Louise Kelly-Hope
Transactions April 2015
Michelle Faierman, Jamie Anderson, Americo Assane et al.
International Health January 2015
Sanjeev Singh, Murali Chakravarthy, Victor Rosenthal et al.
International Health December 2014 (online)
Susan Lewallen, Van Lansingh and R.D. Thulasiraj
International Health September 2014
Anshuman Pandey, Abhijit Chandra and Shakeel Masood
Transactions May 2014
Ana Montoya, Clara Calvert and Veronique Filippi
International Health January 2014