Decolonising Neurosurgery


  • Beverly Cheserem



In the last 2 years, the world has faced a common and immediate enemy, COVID-19. In many respects, political, economic, scientific, and diplomatic collaborations that were demonstrated to combat the virus were what many of us would hope to see daily in the delivery of affordable, safe, and accessible neurosurgery. Unfortunately, so too were geopolitical dynamics that hampered the efficient distribution of medical supplies; low-and-middle-income countries found themselves locked out of the race to rump up the medical supply chains and vaccines needed. This same narrative is seen in all aspects of global surgery, from research to human resource development and infrastructure. A root cause is the historical power imbalance in health systems at a global level, and thus there has been an increased call to decolonize global health. Lokumagage described decolonization as a ground-up movement where active listening is vital for hearing the views of those experiencing the legacies of healthcare inequity, the roots of which lie in prejudices, views, beliefs, and philosophies that were established during colonial rule.