Working Out of the Silo of Global Neurosurgery
The field of global surgery has gained attention since the publication of the Lancet Commission landmark report in 2015. The authors estimated that 5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia services. The paper “Global Neurosurgery: The Unmet Need,” published in 2016, launched the modern global neurosurgery era by advocating for the system-level thinking and programs required to address limited neurosurgical care in low-resource settings.
At present, many individuals, academic institutions, governmental agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are involved in the global neurosurgery movement. These include the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, Duke Global Neurology and Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Tanzania Neurosurgery Project, CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda, and the Virtue Foundation in Mongolia. Nonetheless, as global neurosurgery efforts continue to expand, it is essential to align global neurosurgery activity in order to prevent duplication of effort.
In 2019, the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) established the Global Neurosurgery Committee (GNC) to promote access to safe, affordable, and timely neurosurgical care worldwide. The GNC initially included five primary objectives – Amplify, Align, Advance, Assimilate, and Advocate – with the sixth objective, Communication, added in 2021. In this manuscript, we provide an update on the Align objective team.