24 June 2024, Geneva, Switzerland - In an effort to address the global crisis in access to safe and affordable surgical care, the United Nations Global Surgery Learning Hub (SURGhub) was launched in June 2023. This open-access platform aims to equip the current and future surgical workforce with lifesaving skills. A particular focus is laid on the workforce in low-resource settings.

Bridging the Surgical Training Gap

Lack of access to quality surgical and anaesthesia care results in over 18 million preventable deaths annually, disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). SURGhub aims to tackle this disparity by providing free and high-quality courses in surgery, anaesthesia, gynaecology and obstetrics, perioperative care, and non-clinical skills to frontline providers working in these regions. 

This initiative was developed through a partnership between the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Global Surgery Foundation, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), in association with the Johnson & Johnson Foundation.

SURGhub's Achievements: Quality Training for All

In just one year since its launch, SURGhub has achieved significant milestones:

  • 54 open-access online courses 
  • 11 content partners hosting their educational materials on SURGhub
  • 5,020 learners from 165 countries, the majority practising in LMICs
  • 1,797 UN certificates of completion awarded to learners

Behind these statistics are stories of surgical care workers leveraging SURGhub to make a difference. Learners have described SURGhub as “a truly transformative journey” thanks to which their “daily practice has changed “extremely”, and not “just a little bit.”. Dr. Subharata, an emergency doctor from India explained that SURGhub was instrumental in allowing him to “manage patients with very low diagnostic resources” and “attend to patients with surgical emergencies”.

We asked learners and partners to describe SURGhub in 3 words, here is what they said:

As it enters its second year, the SURGhub team looks forward to empowering more surgical healthcare workers worldwide, ultimately contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals of good health and well-being (SDG 3) and quality education (SDG 4).

UNITAR invites more organizations to join and make their training content available on this UN-based platform to expand their reach.

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