Conflict and Disaster Relief


Surgical support in areas of conflict or disaster is challenging and imposes risk. Surgeons should carefully evaluate the vision, values and methods of any organization with which they intend to volunteer and have an idea of specific ways they will be able to help. Surgeons should be prepared to practice in environments different from their own, and they should receive proper training and preparation for the specific situation in which they will be working. Experience and basic principles of orthopedic and obstetric training are often helpful. Conflict and disaster relief projects require experienced surgeons and organizations to provide ethical and effective service to the population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided guidelines in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Common mistakes often stem from well-intended ignorance of local customs, host-country capacity and the infrastructure needed to provide safe and effective care in areas of overwhelming and urgent need.

see also Global Pediatric Surgery

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Last updated: November 2, 2020