NCDs and the Essential Role of Surgical Care

On 6th February 2015, the G4 Alliance, in partnership with Johns Hopkins Global Surgical Initaitve hosted H.E. Dr Neil Parsan, Ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States and Mexico and Dr Trevor Gunn, Managing Director of International Relations for Medtronic and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University for a lecture on the emerging threat of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and the importance of surgical care as an integral treatment and management strategy. 

Over 50 students and faculty from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health joined the G4 Alliance for this lecture on NCDs and global surgical care. The event was co-moderated by the G4 Alliance's Interim Executive Director Dr. Jaymie Henry, and Board Chair Dr. Fizan Abdullah,

Ambassador Dr. Parsan opened the lecture, addressing the epidemic of chronic diseases disproportionately impacting people living in low-resource settings.  The Ambassador also discussed the importance of global leadership and collaboration, citing efforts by the government of Trinidad and Tobago to lead a coalition of Caribbean nations in providing unprecedented and historic support for the development of a global NCD alliance.   As Chair of the Honorary Council of the G4 Alliance, Ambassador Dr. Parsan also discussed the essential role of surgical care as an indispensable treatment and management strategy to address the global NCD crisis.

Next, Dr. Trevor Gunn spoke to the group about the importance of multi-stakeholder collaborations, such as the G4 Alliance efforts, as an invaluable strategy for responding to the global NCD epidemic. Dr. Gunn provided examples of successful public-private partnerships and commented the G4 Alliance for its focus on cross-disciplinary collaborations. Following his lecture, Dr. Gunn spent time answering questions and speaking with students. 

This event provided an opportunity for the G4 Alliance to engage with critical stakeholders from the NCD community and to reflect on the role of surgical care as part of a comprehensive global public health strategy.


Key Insights to Consider: 

  • NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer are conditions most often associated with high-income settings, however, NCDs are on the rise in low- and middle-income countries.  
  • Almost 3/4 of all NCD-related deaths occur in LMICs, impacting people of all ages, socioeconomic levels, and across all geographic regions. 
  • While prevention strategies are an important measure for addressing the global impact of NCDs, nearly 2/3 of NCDs are not preventable. 
  • Treatment and management strategies, including surgical care, represent are critical strategy for addressing NCDs.
  • Virtually all NCDs will require a surgical intervention over the life-course. 
Over two thirds of NCDs cannot be prevented and will require some form of surgical intervention over the life course of the patient.