Up to 17 million people, particularly from low and middle income countries, die every year from lack of access to surgical care.
The development of trained surgical teams has been identified in the Lancet Commission’s Global Surgery report as a key factor in reducing this number.
In 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning to impact, the Global Surgical Training Challenge was launched to address this issue. The Challenge asked international teams of surgical educators, engineers and global surgery experts to collaborate virtually to try and solve the critical surgical needs in low and middle income countries.
A multi-disciplinary team from RCSI was selected by the challenge funder, Intuitive Foundation, to lead a mentorship programme for the teams participating in the challenge. The mentorship team was led by the RCSI Institute of Global Surgery in collaboration with RCSI’s Centre for Simulation Education and Research and RCSI Department of Surgical Affairs.
RCSI was selected to lead the mentorship programme in recognition of its extensive experience of designing and managing international mentorship programmes, its commitment to global surgery and its contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, ‘Good Health and Well Being’. In 2021, RCSI was ranked joint second in the world for SDG 3 in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, out of 871 institutions.
The Global Surgical Training Challenge identified four finalist teams from different continents, including the United States and Africa and comprising members of different surgical specialities, including obstetrics, orthopaedics, trauma and reconstructive surgery.
The four finalists receive up to half a million dollars to support the further development of their open-source surgical models. A grand prize award of a million dollars is granted to eventual winner. Programmes created as part of the Challenge will be freely available for download on a community platform.
The Global Surgical Training Challenge is a collaboration between RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nesta Challenges, MIT Solve, Appropedia Foundation and Intuitive Foundation.
RCSI is committed to achieving a better and more sustainable future through the UN Sustainable Development Goals.