Nav: Home

Forum on how surgery can improve healthcare in SA

December 03, 2015

A 2015 Lancet report indicated that five billion people do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed. Access is said to be worse in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, where nine of ten people cannot access basic surgical care.

A national forum on surgery and anaesthesia and how it is an indispensable part of achieving universal health coverage will take place on 7 and 8 December 2015 at Wits University.

The Department of Surgery at the Faculty of Health Sciences will host this forum. Surgical and anaesthetic specialists, health policy makers, public health and health system experts will discuss and debate:
  • Essential surgical care and anaesthesia as part of universal health coverage

  • Expanding access to safe, high quality, affordable surgery and anaesthesia in South Africa, particularly in rural and under-served areas

  • Appropriate workforce, training and education

  • Health system strengthening including infrastructure development

  • Financing essential surgical and anaesthetic care

  • Building linkages across disciplines

Professor Martin Smith, Head of Wits' Department of Surgery, says that for far too long surgery has been considered to be an inefficient and expensive treatment modality with limited impact on communities.

"What has now been recognised is that even in middle income countries, there is a significant unmet need with regards to surgically treatable conditions. The consequence of this is an increased burden of disability and increased poverty. It has been estimated that up to 15% of all deaths are due to surgically preventable conditions.

"In the absence of surgical care, case-fatality rates are high for common, easily treatable conditions including appendicitis, hernia, fractures, obstructed labour, congenital anomalies, and breast and cervical cancer," Smith adds.

Smith argues that surgical and anaesthesia care are essential for the treatment of many of these conditions and represent an integral component of a functional, responsive and resilient health system.

"Surgery, unlike treatment specific diseases, is a treatment system that requires a team approach and requires procurement and maintenance functions to ensure its efficiency."

Dates: 7 -8 December 2015

Time: Day 1: 08:30 - 17:00 Day 2: 07:45 -14:20

Venue: Auditorium, School of Public Health, Wits University

For more information, please email Professor Martin Smith: martin.smith@wits.ac.za
-end-


University of the Witwatersrand

Related Public Health Articles:

Public health guidelines aim to lower health risks of cannabis use
Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released today with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks.
Study clusters health behavior groups to broaden public health interventions
A new study led by a University of Kansas researcher has used national health statistics and identified how to cluster seven health behavior groups based on smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity, physician visits and flu vaccination are associated with mortality.
Public health experts celebrate 30 years of CDC's prevention research solutions for communities with health disparities
It has been 30 years since CDC created the Prevention Research Centers (PRC) Program, currently a network of 26 academic institutions across the US dedicated to moving new discoveries into the communities that need them.
Public health experts support federally mandated smoke-free public housing
In response to a new federal rule mandating smoke-free policies in federally funded public housing authorities, three public health experts applaud the efforts of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to protect nonsmoking residents from the harmful effects of tobacco exposure.
The Lancet Public Health: UK soft drinks industry levy estimated to have significant health benefits, especially among children
The UK soft drinks industry levy, due to be introduced in April 2018, is estimated to have significant health benefits, especially among children, according to the first study to estimate its health impact, published in The Lancet Public Health.
More Public Health News and Public Health Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...