National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anaesthesia Planning Workshop


Wednesday, March 21, 2018 (All day) to Thursday, March 22, 2018 (All day)


Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery–Dubai

National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anaesthesia Planning Workshop

In support of recognizing the indispensable role of surgical care and anaesthesia in achieving Universal Health Coverage (SDG 3.8), a panel of global surgery, obstetric and anaesthesia practitioners from 25 different countries gathered on March 21-22, 2018 at the Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery–Dubai to provide technical and strategic guidance for the creation and expansion of national surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia plans, which traditionally have been absent from most national health plans, and to learn from the experiences of neighboring countries who have completed this process.

The participants were in consensus; surgery, obstetrics, and anaesthesia are critical components of universal health coverage (UHC). The workshop was therefore designed to support the development of country-led plans for scaling up SOA. Some participants represented countries with extensive experience in SOA planning and implementation. Others contributed hard-won national experience in the struggle to make them accessible to their citizens.

Over the two-day workshop, both published and unpublished evidence, case studies, and relevant guidance were presented through formal presentations, country case studies, and panels and small group discussions. Following the conclusion of the workshop, a writing group was convened to draft a policy brief detailing the framework to create a country-specific NSOAP, drawing on the expertise and lessons learned from countries and implementers around the world.

From situation and gap analyses to stakeholder engagement, from drafting to monitoring and evaluation, and from costing to governance, this document suggests a roadmap for national governments and ministries, funders, implementing partners, and others seeking to create and implement an NSOAP that is integrated with existing and future national health governance. Above all, it provides an introduction to the eight key principles of national surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia planning: 1) Ministry support and ownership, 2) Situation analysis and baselining, 3) Stakeholder engagement and priority setting, 4) Drafting and validation, 5) Monitoring and evaluation, 6) Costing, 7) Governance, and 8) Implementation.

This policy brief will be taken to Geneva, Switzerland for the World Health Assembly meeting on May 21-26, 2018 as well as used for advocacy, in particular with the African Union, the ECSA Health Ministers, and AFRO.

Number of Participants: 79
Number of Countries: 25
Countries Represented: Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Karachi, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nambia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia