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Global Health Community


WFSA is a co-founder, funder and supporter of Lifebox, an independent charity focused on making surgery safer in low-resource countries. More than 70,000 operating rooms worldwide lack access to pulse oximetry, and the risk of anaesthesia mortality can be as high as 1 in 133.

Lifebox provides essential monitoring and training in the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist – an intervention proven to reduce complications and mortality in the OR by more than 40%.

With support from WFSA and its members around the world, Lifebox has put more than 35,000 pulse oximeters into the hands of anaesthesia providers who need them, trained thousands in safer surgical practice in turn safeguarding millions of patient lives.

G4 Alliance

WFSA is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anaesthesia Care (G4 Alliance), an advocacy-based organisation dedicated to building political priority for surgical care as part of the global development agenda.

WFSA as part of the G4 Alliance has engaged in a range of opportunities to advocate for global anaesthesia and surgery, this included supporting and celebrating the inclusion of essential surgical care in the UN Political Declaration on UHC; bringing together over 60 member organizations for meetings in Geneva and Manila to collaborate in advancing the cause of the neglected surgical patient among other accomplishments.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

WFSA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are working together to ensure safe anaesthesia for patients admitted to ICRC facilities. The partnership aims to create an anaesthesia forum for questions from the field, update ICRC’s clinical protocols, course material and fieldsets, and establish mechanisms for the deployment of qualified anaesthesiologists. Amongst the first products worked on by the ICRC-WFSA Liaison Group is the ICRC’s Anaesthesia Handbook which provides invaluable guidance for anaesthesia providers working in austere environments.

ICRC is actively recruiting anaesthesiologists for short missions (average is 3 months). Learn more about working for ICRC as an anaesthetist.

The WFSA also supports the ICRC’s Health Care in Danger project. 

Armed conflict and other emergencies generate additional health care burdens for the people affected, especially the wounded and sick. The Health Care in Danger project is a Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement initiative aiming to improve security and delivery of impartial and efficient health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. 

More information about the project


WFSA and the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) entered into a partnership through the Global Surgery Foundation to coordinate efforts to build the capacity of anaesthesia and surgery in countries and regions most in need of assistance.

Embedded within UNITAR, the Global Surgery Foundation facilitates collaboration with organisations such as the WHO, UN Member State missions and a wide range of NGOs to strengthen global surgical capacity.

A key initiative is to improve access to expert-led continued medical education and training. The collaboration will raise awareness of the need to strengthen global anaesthesia and surgery to realise Universal Health Coverage and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, the partnership will be urging governments to develop and implement National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Plans.