Emergency and essential surgical care


About us:

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

The Programme was established to address challenges and take the lead in efforts to reduce global surgical burdens as a result of injuries, pregnancy-related complications, congenital anomalies, cancer, diabetic complications, infections, humanitarian crises and other surgical conditions.

Our vision:

Our vision is universal access to high quality and safe emergency and essential surgical services.

Our mission:

Our mission is to work with other WHO departments and global multidisciplinary partners to:

  • Support the development and adoption of evidence-based policies and plans towards strengthening surgical services;
  • Set norms and standards for surgical care;
  • Strengthen education and training programmes to improve anaesthesia and surgical services;
  • Build capacity for safe and high quality surgical care at all levels; and
  • Monitor the progress and impact of our strategies in reducing global surgical burden.

Contact information

Emergency & Essential Surgical Care Programme
Service Delivery and Safety
Health Systems and Innovation
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27

For feedback or other enquiries please contact us at surgery@who.int.