The G4 Alliance and Members to Host Consultative Meeting & Launch in the Philippines

The G4 Alliance will host an Expert Consultative Meeting and Regional Launch on March 18, 2016 in Manila, the Philippines in partnership with our member organizations CURE International, Mending Kids, Operation Smile, and Smile Train. During the meetings, key stakeholders will discuss current challenges and opportunities related to the provision of safe surgical, obstetric, trauma and anaesthesia care, with a special focus on Southeast Asia.

Why Southeast Asia?

Launching the G4 Alliance in Southeast Asia is vital. Understanding how best to improve capacity and access to surgical care in Southeast Asia and the Pacific could result in fewer deaths from treatable injuries and illnesses. For example, more than 160,000 deaths could be prevented each year if basic surgical and trauma care were available to treat road injuries in the region, which are on the rise due to rapid development. In Southern Asia in particular, more than 8,000 deaths per year could be avoided if early intervention and effective monitoring of obstructed labor were available and accessible to expectant mothers. Even though Southern and Eastern Asia reported the greatest progress in reducing maternal mortality since 1990, the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Target was not achieved.

Thus, further efforts will be necessary to increase access to surgical, obstetric, trauma and anaesthesia care in the region. An individual’s health can irreversibly deteriorate due to a variety of factors ranging from the adverse effects of medical treatment to the first symptoms of appendicitis to industrial workplace accidents. These factors would not necessarily represent fatal risks if basic surgical care was available and accessible throughout South East Asia.

Photo Credit: Mending Kids

Photo Credit: Mending Kids

Goals for the Consultative Meeting

Several of the above-mentioned issues will be addressed at the Consultative Meeting in Manila next month. High-level delegates, WHO country-representatives, practitioners, patient advocates and experts from G4 member organizations will come together to share best practices and discuss innovative approaches for strengthening health systems and supporting the integration of surgical care as part of  universal health coverage, bringing a patient-centered narrative to the core issues.

Moreover, the meeting will stress the importance of developing a coordinated advocacy and policy platform with a goal of shaping a global action plan in order to build greater priority for neglected surgical issues. Stakeholders will be encouraged to engage in discussion to identify the most powerful ways to convey key messages, and how best to inform global standards and guidelines for surgical care.

Aligning with the wider Consultative Process adopted by the G4 Alliance, the conversation will be open to a variety of organizations (both G4 Alliance members and non-members) in order to capture insights and ideas from experts working across the spectrum of surgical training, capacity-building, infrastructure, research, advocacy and communications, etc.

What’s Next? Calling for a Global Target

Photo Credit: Bryce Alan Flurie, CURE International

Photo Credit: Bryce Alan Flurie, CURE International

Even though the MDGs resulted in partial improvement of global surgical issues, there is still much to do to assure equitable and sustainable access to surgical care in Southeast Asia as well as the rest of the world. The G4 Alliance and its network of members and partners call for at least 80% of the world's population having access to safe surgical care by 2030, compared to around 30% today. With an increasing global consensus on the importance of access to surgical care worldwide, the G4 Alliance believes that there has never been a more opportune time for members of the global community to unite in support of the 5 billion neglected surgical patients. The post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals should serve as a starting point for the international community to transform these ambitions into actionable steps toward large-scale health systems changes. Joining forces, the G4 Alliance and the members of its coalition will work to ensure that surgical, obstetric and trauma care and anaesthesia are - one day - accessible to all.