The fourth edition of Global Surgery Day on May, 25th 2018 has come to an end: a dynamic day with screaming voices around the world, a day on which access to safe surgical and anaesthesia care takes center stage, with hopes of making it an unquestionable option for everyone, everywhere, at any time of the year.
Global Surgery Day was founded by InciSioN in 2015 on May, 25th, around the passing of the Resolution WHA68.15 “Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage” to fill the lack of a global awareness day for surgery. Today, Global Surgery Day is supported by the entire Global Surgery community, uniting voices to bring access to safe surgical, anaesthesia, and obstetric care to the 5 billion people without.
After two online campaigns in 2015 and 2016, expanded with in-person events in 2017 through screenings of Lifebox’ documentary The Checklist Effect, directed by Lauren Anders Brown, and a co-hosted side-event at the 70th World Health Assembly together with the WFSA, Lifebox, Operation Smile, and the G4 Alliance, the 2018 edition set the goal of continued expansion.
Banner for Global Surgery Day 2017, highlighting the collaboration with Lifebox to translate The Checklist Effect first in 7 and now 11 different languages.
Themed “Equity in Surgery”, Global Surgery Day 2018 made its way to all corners of the world, kicking off in Melbourne, Australia, with the launch of the InciSioN National Working Group for Australia and New Zealand, through a Global Surgery Film Night supported by local faculty. A few hours later, InciSioN Somaliland launched in Somaliland with an inaugural symposium with local and visiting specialists talking about surgical and maternal care in the country. As the clock ticked on, social media was tackled by messages in 8 different languages synchronized with relevant timezones for maximal impact, whilst concurrently targeting attendees of the 71st World Health Assembly.
In Norway, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim advocated for Global Surgery Day at the forefront of a budding Norwegian National Working Group, whereas InciSioN Rwanda was committed to raise their voices for bringing equity into surgery. In the meantime, InciSioN Bosnia & Herzegovina kicked off their new National Working Group through a successful opening symposium attracting students and faculty from across the country to address disparities in accessing surgical care in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Twitter did not stop with mere messaging, however, as the #EquityInSurgery Twitter Chat by InciSioN in collaboration with the G4 Alliance, the WFSA, and the Harvard PGSSC took Twitter by the storm. From highlighting the importance of equity and inclusion of trainees in Global Surgery to a single-tweet pitch on Global Surgery, the Chat brought food for thought for many a tweeter.
Rounding up Global Surgery Day, InciSioN’s budding group in Haiti spread the word of Global Surgery in Haiti, whereas the Canadian branch, the Canadian Global Surgery Trainee Alliance (CGSTA), launched at the Bethune Round Table in Toronto.
However, although Global Surgery Day is “celebrated” on May, 25th, advocating for the cause does not stop there. Not a day should pass without thinking about the 5 billion without access to safe surgical and anaesthesia care and we will continue to increasingly raise our voices until we reach a state of complete equity in surgery.
Next year, on Global Surgery Day 2019, we will celebrate our fifth edition – slowly time to get it officially acknowledged, UN? The world is shouting, all you have to do is listen: