Emergency and essential surgical care

Emergency and Essential Surgical Care

The WHO Programme for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (EESC) is dedicated to strengthening health systems, achieving universal health coverage, and ensuring the safety and efficacy of clinical procedures in Anaesthesia, Surgery, Orthopaedics, and Obstetrics.

Integrated Management for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (IMEESC) toolkit

The WHO Integrated Management for Emergency & Essential Surgical Care e-learning toolkit (CD) has been developed by the Clinical Procedures Unit in collaboration with the GIEESC programme. This tool targets policy-makers, managers, and health-care providers (surgeons, anaesthetists, non-specialist doctors, health officers, nurses, and technicians). This tool contains WHO recommendations for minimum standards in emergency, surgery, trauma, obstetrics and anaesthesia at first-referral level health-care facilities.

Surgery: the neglected component of primary care

More than 30 years ago, then Director-General of the WHO Dr. Mahler identified the important role of Surgery in primary health care, citing the availability of emergency surgical treatment in injuries as an essential component. "Without it, in spite of preventive measures…people will not have faith in primary health care…people in need must have access to skilled surgical care at the first-line referral hospitals.

How can Surgery Meet the Need in the UN Millennium Development Goals?

Provision of essential surgical care is critical in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals of reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS, and other infectious diseases.

Top stories


The 5th WHO GIEESC Biennial Meeting

14-15 October 2013
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

Contact information

World Health Organization
Emergency and Essential
Surgical Care Programme
20 Avenue Appia, 1211
Geneva 27, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 791 2207
Fax: +41 22 791 4836
Email: surgery@who.int