Advocacy

 

Since 2014, ReSurge has been at the forefront of the global surgery movement — alongside the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, Harvard’s Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, and the G4 Alliance, an 85+ member advocacy coalition, of which ReSurge is a founding member and leader.

 

ReSurge’s efforts providing direct surgical care and training transforms the lives of thousands annually. Building political will and increasing government policies and resources to promote safe, affordable and timely surgical care has the potential to improve the lives of billions.

 

The process is slow and much bigger than any one organization or institution, but working collectively has produced results already. The Lancet Commission’s Global Surgery 2030 report provided the necessary evidence showing the 5 billion people in need, how nearly a third of all health problems need a surgical solution, and how solving the surgical deficit was critical to save lives and improve economies. The World Bank’s Disease Control Priorities-3 report debunked the myth that surgical care is too expensive; in fact, they stated that surgical procedures are among the most cost-effective of all public health interventions. Harvard’s Program in Global Surgery and Social Change established technical support for governments to develop national surgical plans. The G4 Alliance engaged and united more than 85 international organizations and delivered a common policy platform as the advocacy foundation for the movement. And ReSurge organized the first US congressional briefings on global surgery with the Congressional Global Health Caucus; this helped gain US support of the landmark World Health Assembly resolution on global surgery (WHA68.15).

A decade ago, surgery was known as the “neglected stepchild of global health.” Now, surgical and anesthesia care is recognized by the World Health Organization as a critical component of universal health coverage and health system strengthening. Global surgery is on the global health agenda. With further advocacy and education on the economic and societal benefits of providing surgical care, we believe we can help dramatically increase resources, the number of reconstructive surgeons in developing countries, and ultimately, access to safe, timely and affordable surgical care.