27 March 2024, Geneva, Switzerland - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Global Surgery Foundation (GSF),  and the Second Chance Association, hosted a special hybrid event titled: “Why Reconstructive Surgery Belongs to the Humanitarian Response in Post-conflict and Disaster Emergencies?” on March 21, 2024.

According to the latest United Nations figures, nearly 300 million people in 72 countries will require humanitarian assistance and protection in 2024. The media often report on the dramatic consequences of war and disaster around the world, but neglect to show the tremendous need for surgical care following a crisis when the wounded and disabled struggle to rebuild their lives.

Reconstructive surgery plays a vital role in restoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of affected individuals in the aftermath of a humanitarian emergency, such as natural disasters, conflict situations, or mass casualty incidents.

The event revolved around the need for surgical planning in post-emergency settings with the following experts: 

  • Dr. Pierre Quinodoz, Co-founder and President of the Swiss Association “Second Chance”, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Geneva University Hospitals
  • Dr. Roba Khundkar, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Sheffield University, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Baraki Ataklitie, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Addis Ababa University School of Medicine, Ethiopia
  • Dr. Amanda Gosman, Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine, United States
  • Dr.Tom Potokar, Chief Surgeon at the International Committee of the Red Cross

In the presence of over 160 participants, the speakers uncovered the challenges of timely reconstructive surgical care and explored opportunities to align interventions to strengthen health systems.

Share with