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Meena Nathan Cherian - Director of GFMER Emergency and Surgical Care

Emergency and Surgical Care

Timely access to life-saving and disability-preventing emergency and surgical care services are crucial in the entire life-course from birth to old age (in pregnancy-related complications, trauma, congenital anomalies, cancer, abdominal conditions, disasters). Five billion people lack access to basic life-saving surgical care and yet it is not considered as a priority in the field of public health globally.

Dr Cherian leads the Geneva Foundation of Medical Education and Research (GFMER) initiative on Emergency and Surgical Care which includes:

  • Developing a strategy for sharing knowledge in the area of Emergency and Surgical Care;
  • Developing an online free access training programme for health professionals and stakeholders with interest in population health to learn about the importance of integrated emergency and surgical care within the framework of Universal Health Coverage (UHC);
  • Create and promote collaborations with organisations including WHO, and professional networks to ensure global as well as national level coordination for knowledge management towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Capacity building in utilization of evidence-based publications on global burden, best practices, research translating into national policies, plans and programs for timely, affordable and safe surgical (including emergency, trauma, obstetrics, and anesthesia) services within the framework of UHC:
    • encourage and support initiatives to address local country needs through strengthening health systems towards meeting the SDGs
    • organize online training courses on integrated emergency and surgical care within the framework of UHC in collaboration with partners, institutions and ministries of health
    • provide technical support with relevant tools on assessment, capacity building and impact evaluation, for projects planning to use mHealth approaches for access to timely and safe surgical (emergency, trauma, obstetrics, anesthesia) care.