Strengthening surgical safety in Central America

Focusing on the four most populous countries in Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and

Nicaragua – with a total population of more than 36.5 million.

 

Lifebox: generalidades del programa

La Comisión Lancet estima que 5 mil millones de personas carecen de acceso a una cirugía segura, asequible y efectiva. Se ha estimado que el riesgo relativo de muerte después de la cirugía es hasta 22 veces mayor en los países de ingresos bajos y medios (PIMB) en comparación con los de ingresos altos. Mediante el desarrollo y la promoción de soluciones y estrategias de bajo costo y el desarrollo de la capacidad de los profesionales de la salud para utilizarlas, Lifebox está trabajando con socios en el área para hacer que cada cirugía sea más segura en todo el mundo. Lifebox ofrece un conjunto de herramientas, módulos de capacitación y talleres que se basan en tres áreas centrales e interrelacionadas de la seguridad, según la Lista de Verificación de Seguridad Quirúrgica de la OMS: mejorar la seguridad de la anestesia, reducir las tasas de infección quirúrgica y fortalecer el trabajo en equipo en el quirófano.

 

Read an interview with Dr. Carolina Haylock Loor, anesthesiologist and Lifebox partner in Honduras, on preparing for COVID-19.

The seven countries of Central America cover an area the size of Texas – with two long tropical coastlines, lush forests, Mayan ruins and more than 300 volcanoes. The beauty of the region can mask the widespread poverty and challenges of providing adequate health services for the region’s  41 million people – half the populations of Guatemala and Honduras live below the poverty line.

Lifebox has well-forged links in Central America, having carried out large-scale oximeter distributions and training workshops in the region since 2011. So far we’ve placed more than 1,300 pulse oximeters into the operating and recovery rooms of the region’s public hospitals. (Our Guatemala case study highlights some of this past work.) We’re now set to leverage these long-standing relationships to further our work on surgical safety thanks to a two-year grant from the IZUMI Foundation. Our focus will be on El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

“The enduring strength of the partnerships that Lifebox builds around the world is brilliantly illustrated by our latest collaboration in Central America.  Some of our earliest work on safe anesthesia was in this region. The opportunity to cycle back to work together to expand the scope of our work to protect surgical patients from preventable harm is precious. The vision and generosity of the IZUMI Foundation in choosing to partner with Lifebox speaks to the credibility that Lifebox has earned around the world.”

Alexander A. Hannenberg, M.D. – Lifebox Trustee and Clinical Advisor to the Central America Project.

For more information on our work in Central America, please contact Lifebox Program Manager Kitty Jenkin kitty.jenkin@lifebox.org.