Global Surgery – Informing National Strategies for Scaling Up Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa

Document Type : Editorial


1 Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2, Ireland

2 Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands


Surgery has the potential to address one of the largest, neglected burdens of disease in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery (LCoGS) has provided a blueprint for a systems approach to making safe emergency and elective surgery accessible and affordable and has started to enable African governments to develop national surgical plans. This editorial outlines an important gap, which is the need for surgical systems research, especially at district hospitals which are the first point of surgical care for rural communities, to inform the implementation of country plans. Using the Lancet Commission as a starting point and illustrated by two European Union (EU) funded research projects, we point to the need for implementation research to develop and evaluate contextualised strategies. As illustrated by the case study of Zambia, coordination by global and external stakeholders can enable governments to lead national scale-up of essential surgery, supported by national partners including surgical specialist associations.


Commentaries Published on this Paper

  • Progress in Global Surgery; Comment on “Global Surgery – Informing National Strategies for Scaling Up Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa”

            Abstract | PDF

  • Local Research Catalyzes National Surgical Planning; Comment on “Global Surgery – Informing National Strategies for Scaling Up Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa”

            Abstract | PDF

  • Global Surgery – Redirecting Strategies for a Global Research Agenda; Comment on “Global Surgery – Informing National Strategies for Scaling Up Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa”

            Abstract | PDF

  • The National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthesia Plan (NSOAP): Recognition and Definition of an Empirically Evolving Global Surgery Systems Science; Comment on “Global Surgery – Informing National Strategies for Scaling Up Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa”

            Abstract | PDF

  • Universal Access to Surgical Care and Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case for Surgical Systems Research; Comment on “Global Surgery – Informing National Strategies for Scaling Up Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa”

            Abstract | PDF


Authors' Response to the Commentaries

  • Global Surgery Priorities: A Response to Recent Commentaries

            Abstract | PDF


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