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To decolonize global surgery and global health we must be radically intentional

  • Denis A. Foretia
    Affiliations
    Division of Health Policy and Research, Nkafu Policy Institute, Yaoundé, Cameroon
    Center for Multicultural and Global Health, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA
    Global Surgery Institute, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA
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Published:October 13, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.10.015
      Global surgery today has come of age. Since the publication of the Lancet Commissions report in 2015,
      • Meara J.G.
      • Leather A.J.
      • Hagander L.
      • et al.
      Global Surgery 2030: evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic development.
      global surgery is no longer considered “the neglected stepchild of global health.”
      • Farmer P.E.
      • Kim J.Y.
      Surgery and global health: a view from beyond the OR.
      Yet the foundations that have undergirded colonial medicine, tropical medicine, international health, and now “global health” were systems designed to perpetuate the control and domination of colonized people, the majority of whom live primarily in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The global field of surgery today is built on practices in global health that prioritize eradicating specific diseases rather than building strong health and surgical systems. This practice was driven by funding from high-income countries (HICs), usually with little or no consideration for those living in LMICs.
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