Almost everyone will need surgery in their lifetime. However, 5 billion people (out of the 8 billion worldwide) do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed.

  • More people die due to the inability to access surgical care than from HIV, TB and malaria combined.
  • Of all procedures each year, only 6% take place in the world’s poorest countries, where over 1/3 of the population lives.
  • Access is worst in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, where 9/10 do not have access to basic surgical care.
  • Every year, 81 million people will face catastrophic expenditure due to the actual surgery &/or non-medical costs associated with surgery.

The above statistics from the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery highlight the role of surgery as an “indivisible, indispensable part of healthcare”, and as a “pre-requisite for the full attainment of local and global health goals in areas as diverse as cancer, injury, cardiovascular disease, infection, and reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health”.

This Forum will explore the topic of Global Surgery, emphasising opportunities for frontier technologies to advance efforts in ensuring safe, affordable, and timely access to surgical care for all.

A panel consisting of surgeons, engineering experts, and policy specialists will address questions such as:

  • What is global surgery?
  • What is the current state of surgical care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and what are the common misconceptions?
  • What are the current needs and challenges?
  • How can frontier technologies (such as AI, robotics, 3D printing, AR and VR) bring value to global surgery?

 Date: Thursday 27th June 2024 

 Time: 14:30 – 15:30 



Barnabas Alayande

Surgeon & Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Global Health Equity, Rwanda.

Peter Culmer

Professor in Healthcare Technologies, University of Leeds

Jenny Dankelman

Head of the Minimally Invasive Surgery & Interventional Techniques Group, TU Delft

Emmanuel Malabo Makasa

Adjunct Professor of Global Surgery & Founding Director of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Collaboration Centre.



Dr Kee Park MD

Director of Policy & Advocacy, Harvard Medical School

Dr Ana Cruz Ruiz

Project Manager, Imperial College London