Emergency and essential surgical care


The Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (EESC) project has the following objectives.

  • Support capacity building in the safe and appropriate use of emergency and essential surgical procedures and linked equipment in resource limited healthcare facilities, thereby improving the quality of care
  • Strengthen existing training and education programs for safety of emergency and essential clinical procedures in countries

Well-organised surgical, obstetric , trauma care and anaesthesia services are essential for a district hospital to be an effective community resource. These services should be developed within the framework of the country and district's health care infrastructure.

Without such services, up to 10% of the population will die from injury and 5% of pregnancies will result in maternal death. Unacceptable rates of death from non-traumatic surgical disorders and disability from injury will also result.

Death and disability from trauma and pregnancy-related complications can be substantially reduced through the following integrated strategy to maximise the effectiveness of first-referal level health care facilities.

  • Personnel with appropriate education and training.
  • Practical continuing education programmes in clinical management to maintain the quality of care.
  • Appropriate physical facilities.
  • Equipment and instruments to meet the needs of district surgical services..
  • A reliable system for the supply of drugs and medication, surgical materials and other consumables.
  • A quality assurance system.

WHO EESC advocacy video

Contact information

Emergency and essential surgical care
Service Delivery and Safety
Health Systems and Innovation
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Email: surgery@who.int