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

World Health Organization
Emergency and Essential
Surgical Care Programme
20 Avenue Appia, 1211
Geneva 27, Switzerland
Email: surgery@who.int