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Please join us for the 4th Annual ASAP Meeting, hosted by the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children's Hospital and held at the Sheraton Harbor Island, San Diego on November 9-11, 2011. The meeting will focus on bringing together the many fields that are integral to health systems in low resource areas. Our annual meeting is an opportunity to move forward with the agenda of fostering sustainable, safe and cost effective surgical interventions through education, training, research and collaboration with nonprofit organizations committed to surgical delivery.

Click here to view a video of Dr. Steven Bickler discussing the lack of surgical care plaguing 2 billion people worldwide.

In addition, we are also pleased to announce that UC San Diego will host a World Health Organization (WHO) Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care meeting on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 held at the UC San Diego School of Medicine campus. 

Please note: the WHO and ASAP meetings are back-to-back allowing participants to attend both conferences.

The Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP) was founded in 2007 as a working group of surgeons, anesthesiologists, public health professionals and policy makers interested in a multidisciplinary approach to promoting strengthened infrastructure and expansion of capacity for delivery of surgical services in low- and middle-income countries. It is our belief that surgical care and safe anesthesia are vital components of public health and should be priorities on the global health agenda. What began as a group of 12 members has grown exponentially to a movement involving over 350 members from several international organizations, academic institutions, surgical and anesthesia colleges and societies, and other global initiatives. 

The Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (GIEESC) was established in 2005 as an international collaboration of Ministries of Health, WHO country offices, local and international organizations, and academia. GIEESC is involved in reducing death and disability from road traffic accidents, trauma, burns, falls, pregnancy related complications, domestic violence, disasters, and other surgical conditions in low-and middle-income countries. Click here to become a GIEESC member.


Upon completion of this activity, participants should have increased knowledge about surgical systems and the problems and solutions to the current international surgery and anesthesia crises. In addition, participants will increase their competence in evaluating advantages and disadvantages associated with each solution.

Needs Assessment

Based on a review of recently published literature and audience feedback from previous ASAP meetings, the organizing faculty have identified ongoing educational needs for physicians and related healthcare professionals in the field of global surgery.

Educational gaps have been identified in the areas of  1) the global anesthesia crisis, 2) health systems in low- and middle-income countries, 3) how to prioritize surgical conditions in the public health arena, 4) the role of academic, private, and non-governmental partnerships, 5) quality improvement in resource poor setting, 6) the advancement of telemedicine, 7) metrics and how to quantify epidemiological surgical issues, and many other topics.

In addition, the planning committee has identified that potential barriers attendees may encounter are 1) lack of knowledge about global health, 2) lack of recognition of the relationship between surgery and public health, 3) lack of awareness of the surgical needs of the global community. Hence, the faculty will attempt to address these concerns through the Conference’s “Surgical Summit,” working groups, and in-depth discussions about what has worked and what has not worked so well. 

General Facts About Global Surgery

Surgical disease accounts for a significant burden of death and disability in the world. Settings with poor access to resources suffer a greater portion of the burden.

Pregnancy related complications

  • Account for 1600 deaths per day (529,000/year)
  • For every woman who dies in childbirth: ~ 20 more will suffer a complication (~ 10 mil /yr)
  • Obstetric fistula (2 million/yr)


  • Road traffic accidents
    • 1.2 million deaths
    • 50 million injured
    • 2000 childhood deaths/day

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