The World Health Organization program for emergency surgical, obstetric, and anesthetic care: from Mongolia to the future

Arch Surg. 2011 May;146(5):620-3. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.2011.84.


This special article provides an introduction to the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (EESC) program. The program was launched by the WHO in December of 2005 to address the lack of adequate surgical capacity as a global public health issue. The overall objective is to reduce death and disability from trauma, burns, pregnancy-related complications, domestic violence, disasters, and other surgically treatable conditions. The program and materials have spread to over 35 countries and focus on providing (1) basic education and training materials; (2) enhancement of surgical infrastructure at the governmental and health facility level; and (3) resources for monitoring and evaluating surgical, obstetrical, and anesthetic capacity. Additionally, a global forum for program members was established that collaborates with ministries of health, WHO country offices, nongovernmental organizations, and academia. The results of the third biennial meeting of global EESC members in Mongolia are outlined as well as future challenges.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / mortality*
  • Anesthesia / standards
  • Anesthesia / trends
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends
  • Developing Countries*
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards*
  • Emergency Medical Services / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / education
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / standards*
  • Health Resources / trends
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends
  • Hospital Mortality / trends*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • International Agencies / standards
  • International Agencies / trends
  • Mongolia
  • Obstetric Surgical Procedures / education
  • Obstetric Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Obstetric Surgical Procedures / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care / trends
  • Survival Rate
  • World Health Organization*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*
  • Wounds and Injuries / surgery*