Five billion people worldwide lack access to safe surgical care when needed, resulting in over 17 million preventable deaths each year and further responsible for one-third (28-32%) of the global burden of disease. Annually, 313 million surgical procedures take place around the world, yet an additional 143 million additional interventions and 2.28 million additional surgeons, anaesthesiologists, and obstetricians (SAO) are needed to cover the unmet need. To scale up access to safe surgical, anaesthesia, and obstetric care for all, inclusion of future generations of health professionals, public health specialists, and policymakers from the start of global surgery discussions and interventions is essential.
InciSioN, the International Student Surgical Network, is an international non-profit organization for medical and public health students, residents, and young doctors in the field of global surgery. InciSioN started as an informal group of students in 2014 and grew to become the formally established organization "InciSioN" in March 2016. In 2015, in the light of the passing of the WHO Resolution WHA68.15 "Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage", InciSioN started Global Surgery Day on May, 25th as a global awareness day on Global Surgery. In 2016, InciSioN played a pivotal central role in the World Development Indicator (WDI) surgical data collection 2016 through a framework of virtual internships for 10 selected students around the world to collect data from all Ministries of Health, which has been updated in the World Bank database on July, 1st 2017.
In 2017, InciSioN co-organized its first World Health Assembly (WHA) side-event at the 70th WHA on May, 24th 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland in collaboration with Lifebox Foundation, the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), the G4 Alliance, and Operation Smile on "What Next for Surgery and Anaesthesia: Civil Society and Global Solutions". In 2018, InciSioN established its independent international conference, the InciSioN Global Surgery Symposium (IGSS), for which the first edition took place in Leuven, Belgium, and attracted 228 people from 50 different countries, including 12 fully-funded Travel Scholars from low- and middle-income countries. In addition, InciSioN established and piloted its formal standardized three-day global surgery advocacy workshop, Training Global Surgery Advocates (TGSA), in order to create a global legion of effective and knowledgeable advocates and future leaders. Moreover, on May, 23rd 2018, InciSioN became the newest (and first trainee) member organization of the G4 Alliance, joining more than 80 professional global surgery societies, institutions, and NGOs from around the world.
Today, InciSioN represents over 5,000 members in over 80 countries and 49 fully established National Working Groups (NWGs) across all world regions. InciSioN’s international work is driven by the International Team (IT), consisting of 53 people from 33 different countries, speaking a total of 28 different languages. The IT 2020 comprises 26 female and 27 male members without pre-existing quotas and distributes evenly across all world regions, with 26 members from low- and middle-income countries and 27 from high-income countries, highlighting the importance and strength of the diversity of the International Team. Accordingly, InciSioN aims to contribute to the development of future generations of global surgeons, anaesthesiologists, and obstetricians around the world and help bring safe surgical care to everyone, everywhere, by 2030.