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WFSA gives statement at WHO Special Session of the Executive Board 

philippe at WHOLast month the WFSA was present at the Special Session of the Executive Board on a draft thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13) to give a statement on the importance of WHA Resolution 68.15 ͞'Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as an essential component of Universal Health Coverage', urging the Executive Board to prioritise surgery and anaesthesia in GPW 13 in support of the Resolution. The statement given was as follows:

"The World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists commends WHO on the thirteenth General Programme of Work.

WFSA represents hundreds of thousands of anaesthesiologists in 140 countries and works to achieve universal access to safe anaesthesia, directly contributing to SDG3. We supported WHA Resolution 68.15 “Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage” and are proud to have been highlighted in the progress report.

There cannot be UHC without a scale up of surgical services. Surgical care has long been neglected and it is estimated that each year more than four times as many people die from surgical conditions than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. These surgical conditions span health related SDGs including maternal health, NCDs, and road traffic injuries.

who logoSafe surgery depends on safe anaesthesia. Anaesthesia is complex and potentially hazardous, and optimal patient care depends on anaesthesia being provided, led or overseen by an anaesthesiologist. The WFSA offers its support in helping achieve WHO’s top strategic priority: to strengthen health systems in order to progress towards UHC.

We have developed quality training and education for physicians and non-physicians, alongside capacity assessment for planning and a global workforce survey. The survey revealed that 136,000 physician anaesthesia providers are needed today to achieve a minimum density of 5 per 100,000 population in all countries.

Surgical conditions represent 30% of the global burden of disease. As Director General Tedros himself said in a letter to the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ireland, “Access to surgical services and anaesthesia is something to which I am deeply committed”. WFSA commends that commitment and calls on the Executive Board to prioritise surgery and anaesthesia in GPW 13 in support of Resolution 68.15 and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage by 2030."

WFSA Council Member Dr Philippe Mavoungou addressed the delegation, to watch him present the WFSA statement please click here.

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