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president's message

The Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP), founded in 2008, is devoted to advancing safe affordable surgery and anesthesia care when needed for the majority of the world’s population who can’t access it today. We are the only global surgery organization that unites concerned clinicians from different fields and at all stages of their careers, throughout studentship, traineeship and specialist practice. We use these lateral and longitudinal networks to foster inspiration, mentoring, advice and peer support, and create the future generations of global surgery leaders.

The commitment to global surgery by the International Society of Surgery’s executive has enabled such community among today’s and tomorrow’s practitioners. As its integrated society specifically for the community interested in global surgery, ASAP is embracing the ISS-SIC’s decision to offer membership for anesthesiologists, obstetricians and gynecologists, and specialist theatre staff, and now to medical students and residents.

With our origins in the Global Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group, and through our members’ participation in the 3rd Edition of the Disease Control Priorities, the Lancet Commission, several WHO Resolutions, and the G4 Alliance, ASAP retains its commitment to science and research-based improvement. In the past two years we have supported global surgery conferences with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) in Kigali, Rwanda, and the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, USA. And of the ASAP scientific program at this year’s World Congress of Surgery in Krakow, more than half of the invited speakers came from low-income and middle-income countries.


I must congratulate our immediate past president, Kathleen Casey, on these achievements, and a program that showcased the rich ecosystem of global surgery including experts in surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics and trauma, education and training, financing and surgical systems, public health and real life implementation stories. Kathleen has also secured a firm foundation for ASAP, through countless weeks revising the ASAP constitution, working on membership reform, and negotiating partnerships with societies such as the Association of Women Surgeons, the International Association of Student Surgical Societies, and the Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery.


In the next two years we will continue to support the essential role of surgery in Universal Health Coverage by growing our membership, building our networks and our community, and fostering the relationships that are so special in global surgery, between different specialties, people in different countries, and people at different ends of their careers.


Prof Russell Gruen

President, ASAP

Canberra, Australia

Spring 2018 Newsletter

As the Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP) celebrates our 10th anniversary, 2018 is shaping up to be a busy year!  We welcome all the activities and opportunities it holds to improve the provision of surgical and anesthesia care around the world, particularly in regions with the greatest needs.


In May, we’ll be attending a meeting of the G4 Alliance (Global Alliance for Surgery, Obstetrics, Trauma and Anesthesia), 90+ aligned organizations whose mission is to “advocate for the neglected surgical patient” in global health and development.  The G4 meets each May in Geneva, in coordination with the major annual meeting of the World Health Organization. The 71st World Health Assembly will take place May 21– 26, 2018, convening delegations from all 194 member states to determine the priorities and policies of the WHO.  This year, ASAP is pleased to accompany ISS President Andrew Hill who will be observing the G4 proceedings and the WHA activities.  In addition, ASAP recently submitted comments to the WHO on the “Draft Declaration on Primary Health Care: Towards Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals,” stressing the importance of inclusion of language specifying the role of surgical and anesthetic care in achieving both.


In early October, ASAP’s 10th annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the 10th annual Pediatric Global Health Conference at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Pennsylvania, US, themed “Innovate, Collaborate and Transform: Optimizing Education in Global Health.” Planned for October 4-6, 2018, this event will provide a mix of plenaries, interactive sessions, skills courses, and optional pre-conference educational seminars on a range of topics including education, research, capacity building, ethics and advocacy. More information on the agenda and registration will be available at Abstract submissions will be opened in May.  ASAP’s annual meeting will also be held at this time.  All are welcome!


In addition, we are pleased that ASAP has been invited to be a contributor to the global surgery portion of the agenda for the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) 19th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, December 5-7, 2018.  The official theme of the conference is “Surgical Infections.”  In addition, a significant portion of the agenda will be devoted to the presentation of Rwanda’s comprehensive National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthesia Plan (NSOAP).  In support of this, meetings of the Rwandan Anesthesia and Obstetrics and Gynecology Societies will occur concurrently and be integrated with COSECSA’s meeting, with ASAP Council member Paulin Banguti, Rwandan Anesthesia Society President, playing a significant role.  We’re also thrilled that ISS President Andrew Hill and World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists President Jannicke Mellin-Olsen have kindly accepted invitations to speak as part of the Global Surgery portion of the conference.  We’d like to encourage wide participation from ISS.  Please feel free to reach out for further information if you are interested in attending or to be considered as a speaker at this event.  More information will be available at


Lastly, planning is well underway for a fantastic ISS World Congress of Surgery meeting in Krakow Poland in August of 2019.  We look forward to a rich collaboration across the integrated societies of ISS, showcasing challenges faced in low and middle income countries in providing surgical and anesthesia care for often late presenting pathologies, as well as local innovations and successful programs that will provide inspiration and insights applicable to any surgical setting.


As always, please spread the word about the value of ISS and ASAP membership to your colleagues and friends.  In addition, we greatly value the cross-pollination that occurs between ISS integrated societies and ask that current ISS members consider joining the ranks of ASAP in addition to their own societies.  We welcome your participation in this work.


Kathleen Casey, MD, FACS

President, Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence

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