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Best Practice Guidelines on Surgical Response in Disasters and Humanitarian Emergencies: Report of the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit Working Group on Surgical Issues within the Humanitarian Space

  • Smita Chackungal (a1), Jason W. Nickerson (a2), Lisa M. Knowlton (a3), Lynn Black (a4), Frederick M. Burkle (a5), Kathleen Casey (a6), David Crandell (a7), Didier Demey (a8), Lillian Di Giacomo (a9), Lena Dohlman (a10), Joshua Goldstein (a11), James E. Gosney (a12), Keita Ikeda (a13), Allison Linden (a14), Catherine M. Mullaly (a15), Colleen O'Connell (a16), Anthony D. Redmond (a17), Adam Richards (a18), Robert Rufsvold (a19), Ana L.R. Santos (a20), Terri Skelton (a21) and Kelly McQueen (a22)...


The provision of surgery within humanitarian crises is complex, requiring coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders. During the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit best practice guidelines were proposed to provide greater accountability and standardization in surgical humanitarian relief efforts. Surgical humanitarian relief planning should occur early and include team selection and preparation, appropriate disaster-specific anticipatory planning, needs assessment, and an awareness of local resources and limitations of cross-cultural project management. Accurate medical record keeping and timely follow-up is important for a transient surgical population. Integration with local health systems is essential and will help facilitate longer term surgical health system strengthening.


Corresponding author

Corresponding Author: Smita Chackungal, MD, MPH Division of General Surgery University of Western Ontario339 Windermere Road London, Ontario Canada N6A 5A5 E-mail:


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