Global Initiative for Children's Surgery


The inaugural meeting of GICS – Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery – was held in London on May 27-28, 2016 at the Royal College of Surgeons. This newly formed initiative aims to improve surgical care for children in the world’s lowest resource settings.

One-third of the global burden of disease – the combined impact of death and disability from all diseases around the world – includes conditions that require surgery.  However, five billion people do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and aesthetic care when needed. This lack of access results in millions of unnecessary deaths and disabilities every year. 

Inability to access surgical care is particularly critical for children, as they comprise nearly half of the population in the least developed regions. The majority of the world’s children cannot access the surgical treatment they need if they are born with a routine correctable malformation, if they are injured, have a common abdominal emergency, or develop a tumor. As a result, there are profound global disparities in care of these children between high and lower income parts of the world . 

GICS plans improve surgical care for children across the globe by convening a wide range of stakeholders: surgical providers, regional and international organizations, surgical charities, child health advocates, and policy experts for two initial meetings in 2016. The inaugural meeting in London gathered 27 delegates from eighteen low- and middle-income countries to assess the current state of surgical care for children and prioritize needs for improvement. During the second meeting, to be held in Washington DC in October, participants will develop an action plan to bring about equitable global surgical care for all children.


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