The Netherlands Society for International Surgery



The Netherlands Society for International Surgery (NSIS) started as one of the working parties of the Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG). The society is also part of the Netherlands Society for Surgery (NVVH). Members of the NSIS are surgical specialists and surgeons in training with special interest and experience in surgery in low resource settings. Most of them worked at least for a couple of years in a low or middle-income country as a surgeon or medical officer. Some of them still work there. Many others continue to contribute to surgical care in poor countries after returning to their home country by performing and teaching surgery abroad for several weeks per year.

The board cooperates with the international organisations to improve global surgery (WHO, the G4-Alliance, SurgeonsOverSeas, the German Society for Tropical Surgery, the International Federation for Rural Surgeons, etc.).

The Netherlands Society for International Surgery assures quality standards of the surgical components of the Dutch training program to become Medical Doctor in International Health and Tropical Medicine. This training program aims to prepare doctors from high-income countries to work in rural hospitals in low and middle income countries.


The practical surgical training activities include yearly events like:

•    Gastro-intestinal surgery day, including colostoma, iliostoma and bowel suturing

•    Fracture management with POP techniques

•    Complexe fracture management day, including external fixation workshop

•    Wound management day, including skingrafts, local flaps and tendon suturing

•    Hernia repair evening


The society and its members are also involved in several teaching programs for medical students at several universities in the Netherlands on global health and programs to prepare interns for internships abroad.

In 2014 the NSIS organized the symposium ‘Surgery in low resource settings’ together with the German Society for Tropical Surgery, in Amsterdam.

The event was visited by 426 participants from 23 different countries and resulted in the ‘Amsterdam Declaration on Essential Surgical Care, signed by 51 organizations and published in the World Journal of Surgery in April 2015.