Injury and acute surgical disease represents a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. In fact, there are more annual injury-related deaths than from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Ninety percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and commonly affect the most productive portion of the population; namely, those between the ages of 5-44. For example, in Gambia, 85% of children will require surgical attention by the age of 15, with almost 50% of those being secondary to injuries.
These statistics result in a significant social and economic burden on the affected societies. It is only in recent years, that the global health community has begun to recognize the extent of this problem with the publication of the Global Burden of Disease by the World Health Organization and more recently the Lancet Comimssion on Global Surgery publication's. Nonetheless, injury and acute surgical disease remain a mostly under-appreciated problem that is often treatable and preventable.
Co-founded by trauma surgeons Dan Deckelbaum and Tarek Razek, the Centre for Global Surgery serves several regions in Africa , Latin America and the Middle East.
Global surgery initiatives have long been a strong focus for McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) faculty. Dr. Peter McLean spent a significant amount of time in Ethiopia working with the Surgical Amendment of the McGill Ethiopia Community Health Project and later being one of the founding members of the Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS), alongside Dr. Ron Lett. Dr. Antoine Loutfi, a previous board member of the CNIS, spent three years in Ethiopia teaching essential surgical skills to general practitioners. Spearheaded by some of the senior faculty at the MUHC, these ideas and understanding of the depth of surgical issues in low- and middle-income nations continue to grow to this day at our institution with the support of the Chair of Surgery, Dr. Gerald Fried, and the president of the MUHC foundation, Ronald Collett.
For more info about the CNIS visit their website at : http://www.cnis.ca/