University of Wisconsin–Madison

GHI Visiting Scholar Emmanuel Makasa determined to help make surgery accessible for all

Photo credit: UW Department of Surgery

Global Health Insitute (GHI) Visiting Scholar Emmanuel Makasa is focused on making sure surgery is accessible to all individuals.

Makasa, a Zambian surgeon and diplomat, recently wrote an essay outlining how inaccessible and unaffordable surgery is for many people around the world. The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery reported in 2015 that about five billion worldwide — or 70 percent of the global population — lack access to safe and affordable surgery.

“In the Republic of Zambia where I have lived, trained and served for more than 10 years as an orthopedics and trauma surgeon, the practice of safe surgery is almost non-existent in most rural districts, where more than 60 percent of Zambia’s population lives,” Makasa writes.

GHI Advisory Committee member Girma Tefera hosted Makasa and James Munthali from the University of Zambia Hospital and Ephrem Adem from Hawassa University in Ethiopia. Thanks to a GHI Visiting Scholar Grant, the three international orthopedic surgeons were able to visit Madison to tour UW Hospital and meet with key global health partners in the Department of Surgery. This is the latest in an ongoing learning collaboration with Ethiopia and the beginnings of a new partnership in Zambia.

By understanding these challenges and trying to build a mutually beneficial partnership, the UW Global Surgery Program wants to launch a global learning environment to build surgical workforce capacity in low income countries, in particular with the University Teaching Hospital of Zambia.

Read Makasa’s essay “Health is wealth” here.