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Partnerships and affiliations

 WFSA Partnership with the Red Cross  

 The 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 materia and field sets, 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 Handbook cover

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 which was launched in November 2011 during the 31st Red Cross Red Crescent International Conference. 

Armed conflict and other emergencies generate additional health care burdens for the people affected, especially the wounded and sick. At the same time, it has been found that it is during these times that health care is most inaccessible and insecure. This situation represents a negation of the right of all wounded combatants and civilians to have access to health care during armed conflict as laid down in international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

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 is a co-founder, funder and supporter of Lifebox Foundation, 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%. Watch the Lifebox video here for a genuine insight into the function and impact of the checklist. 

With support from WFSA and its members around the world, Lifebox has put more than 8000 pulse oximeters into the hands of anaesthesia providers who need them, trained thousands in safer surgical practice, and helped to safeguard millions of patient lives.

WFSA member societies in low-resource settings are encouraged to apply for this essential equipment and training online here, and all members are invited to play a part in addressing the fastest-growing global health crisis today: unsafe surgery and anaesthesia. 

Lifebox Screenshot 2014-04-04 14.11.15 2

WFSA also recommends the Student Toolkit developed by Lifebox. This is packed with information about global surgery, how Lifebox is making surgery safer, and how you can get involved.

G4 Alliance

The WFSA is a member of the Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anaesthesia Care (G4A), 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; launching a working group for advocacy with the United States government; bringing together over 60 member organizations for meetings in Geneva and Manila to collaborate in advancing the cause of the neglected surgical patient.


WFSA and United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) have agreed to enter into 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.

The Global Surgery Foundation and WFSA partnership aims to develop a range of activities to help build in-country 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.