The inaugural event to introduce how the newly launched Global Surgery Policy Unit will train and develop global health leaders, influencers, and advocates to work with communities, non-governmental organisations, governments, and healthcare workers to improve decision-making and practice across the world.
This event celebrated the beginning of a unique and strategic collaboration between the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) and the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE) which seeks to advance global surgical and anaesthesia care, with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It aims to increase access to safe, affordable, high-quality surgery, improve public health, patient safety and population health outcomes, and strengthen and contribute to the evidence base for global surgical care, capacity-building partnerships, and advocacy initiatives. This event brought together expert speakers from across various sectors to discuss & address the future of Global Surgery.
Meet our speakers and chair
Professor Bekele is the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Global Health Equity. He is a Professor of Surgery and has served as CEO of the Black Lion Teaching Hospital and Dean of the School of Medicine of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He also has full Professor faculty positions at the Addis Ababa University and the University of Rwanda. Prof Abebe is a member of the Governing Council and Chairman of the Examinations and Credentials Committee at the College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa and Editor-in Chief of the East and Central Africa Journal of Surgery. He serves as a member of the advisory council to the Ethiopian Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education. He is actively engaged in Global Safe Surgery and Anaesthesia Initiatives & has served as a senior advisor to the Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia in the Saving Lives Through Safe Surgery (SaLTS) initiative.
Dr Conteh is a health economist with a research focus on the economics of infectious diseases, the market for diagnostics, and health system performance in Sub-Saharan Africa. She was a Commissioner on the 2015 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. She is an Associate Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Health Policy and Academic Director for the African Health Observatory - Platform on Health Systems and Policies. Hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, with a network of National Centres, AHOP is a regional partnership to promote evidence-informed policymaking. Prior to joining LSE, she held positions at Imperial College London, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and MRC, The Gambia.
Professor Wren is a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in the surgical treatment of gastrointestinal cancer. She is involved in humanitarian surgery and global surgery and works and manages educational partnerships in Sub Saharan Africa. Prof Wren is the Vice Chair in the Department of Surgery at Stanford University, Director of Clinical Surgery, Palo Alto Veterans Health Care System, Director Global Surgery in the Center for Innovation and Global Health at Stanford University, President of the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, and former Governor of the American College of Surgeons.
Dr Malik Zaben is an Associated Professor of Neurosurgery, and the Advisor to the President of the Arab America University of Palestine. On completion of his training at Cardiff Neurosurgical Unit, he was granted the Fellowship of RCS England with subspecialty in Neurosurgery. He is also a member of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons, the British Association of Spinal Surgeons and the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies. He was granted the RCS Pump Priming Award and more recently the Prestigious Guarantors of Brain Fellowship at Cardiff University by the British Association of Neurology and is an active researcher in post-brain injury neuroinflammation, repair, stem cell biology and plasticity. His work has culminated in more than 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals and tens of presentations at national and international conferences.
Dr Negussie is a consultant general and paediatric surgeon and worked at the Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for more than 14 years. She has served in different leadership positions including as Chair of the National Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in Ethiopia, Coordinator of the CPD centers at Addis Ababa University’s College of Health Sciences, and the Ethiopian Medical Association (EMA). Dr Negussie is the Global Clinical Director at Lifebox Foundation, with responsibility for the clinical content, relevance, and quality of all Lifebox programs delivered globally and oversees a diverse team of perioperative clinicians and fellows working in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She is part of the clinical team that developed Lifebox’s Clean Cut Program in Ethiopia and sits on the Lifebox leadership team.
Dr Friebel is a trained health economist, Assistant Professor of Health Policy, Co-Director of the Global Surgery Policy Unit, Deputy Director of LSE Health, and Programme Director of the Executive MSc in Healthcare Decision-Making in collaboration with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. He is specialised on the economics of health system delivery and the evaluation of complex interventions aimed at improving quality of care. His research work was published in high-impact policy/medical journals, such as the Lancet, Health Affairs, and Health Economics. Dr Friebel is a member of several advisory groups, a Board Member of Health Economics, Policy, and Law, member of the Steering Committee of the European Health Policy Group, and founder and host of LSE’s HealthTalks podcast series. He received his PhD from Imperial College London, and an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York. Before joining the Department of Health Policy, he worked for the Health Foundation.
Miss Rachel Hargest is a Senior Clinical Lecturer, Consultant Surgeon, and Co-Director of the Global Surgery Policy Unit. She is a council member and former trustee of RCS England and Royal Society of Medicine. She has won multiple awards for excellence in both clinical practice (BMJ Gastroenterology team of the year award 2015, NHS Wales award for improving patient care 2011) and training (Silver Scalpel 2017, FST Medal 2019). She is PI on multiple research projects across a range of clinical, laboratory-based, and health systems topics. She sits on three editorial boards, peer reviews for over 10 journals and grant giving bodies including The Lancet, the British Journal of Surgery, and the National Research Foundation of South Africa. She has mentored over 30 trainee surgeons including those who work in low/middle income countries with most of them now holding leadership positions. This has been recognised by subsequent awards of honorary membership of the Surgical Research Society of Southern Africa, the Outstanding International Collaboration award from Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital and University and Honorary Fellowship of the Association of Surgeons of India.
Podcast & Video
Listen to the podcast here.
Watch the video here.
Short description of the Unit
The unit is a unique and strategic collaboration between LSE & the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England). Established to advance global public health, surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, the goal of the GSPU is to strengthen and contribute to the evidence-base for global surgical care through policy research and dialogue, capacity-building partnerships and advocacy initiatives aimed at informing decision-makers and empowering communities.
Learn more about the GSPU: https://www.lse.ac.uk/lse-health/research/GSPU