FAIRFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The GE Foundation is announcing its commitment to global safe surgery with the launch of the Safe Surgery 2020 Initiative. With just under a third of all deaths (16.9 million in 2010) from conditions treatable with surgery, the global need for a solution is critical. Safe Surgery 2020 aims to reduce maternal and trauma-related mortality and create stronger health systems by transforming access, quality and safety of surgical care in regions that need it most: low-and middle-income countries. The official launch of the initiative is taking place at a panel discussion on surgery in the developing world as a UN General Assembly (UNGA) satellite event on Friday, September 25 at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
With a commitment of $25 million over the next three years, the Initiative will seek to accelerate access to safe surgery and anesthesia worldwide through investments in three core pillars: leadership development and facility toolkit; innovation; and elevating ideas.
“Five billion people lack access to the safe surgical care they need. If no action is taken soon, surgical conditions will cost low- and middle-income countries $12.3 trillion dollars by 2030,”1 said Deborah Elam, President, the GE Foundation and Chief Diversity Officer. “We believe safe surgery is an area ripe for innovations. Despite growing momentum, safe surgery is not receiving the attention and funding needed to save lives. Safe Surgery 2020 aims to change that.”
GE Foundation is partnering with several organizations on Safe Surgery 2020 to:
- Provide leadership development on-the-ground in low- and middle-income countries to improve the quality of surgical care in target facilities
- Identify, test and scale innovations, accelerating progress in safe surgery both at the facility-level and more broadly
- Identify proven programs to improve surgical care, and elevate the profile of surgery on a global stage
Safe Surgery 2020 follows the GE Foundation’s inaugural safe surgical operating program in Ethiopia, which formally launched at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in July 2015. At the Summit, GE launched its commitment to improving safe surgery in Ethiopia through a new partnership with Lifebox, a non-governmental organization focused on implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Safe Surgical Checklist. This new program aims to standardize safe surgery by increasing access to and quality of surgery, reducing surgical complications, and preventing patient deaths in the region.
Panel participants and partners will discuss the unique approaches that they are collectively deploying in order to generate greater support for safe surgery and to elevate it on the global agenda. The kick-off event on Friday, September 25th will host speakers and panelists including:
- Dr. Kesete Admasu, Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Ethiopia
- Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, Vice President, Innovations and Medical Director, Jhpiego
- Dr. Matt McEvoy, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University
- Deborah Elam, President, the GE Foundation and Chief Diversity Officer, GE
- Jay Ireland, President and CEO, GE Africa
- Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, Sustainable Healthcare Solutions at GE Healthcare
ABOUT GE FOUNDATION
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to building a world that works better. We empower people by helping them build the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. We equip communities with the technology and capacity to improve access to better health and education. We elevate ideas that are tackling the world's toughest challenges to advance economic development and improve lives. The GE Foundation is powered by the generosity and talent of our employees, who have a strong commitment to their communities. We are at work making the world work better. Follow the GE Foundation at www.gefoundation.com and on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.
1 Source: Lancet Commission on Global Safe Surgery. See also http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150426005021/en/Lancet-Billion-People-Globally-Lack-Access-Safe#.VgMDfctViko