Safe Surgery 2020

Five billion people in the developing world lack access to safe, affordable surgery when they need it. For the first time in history, surgically-treatable conditions cause more deaths than infectious diseases. Responsible for one-third of the global disease burden, surgically-treatable conditions kill 17 million people each year and cause or prolong disability for millions more. And access is deeply unequal: Over 95% of people in South Asia and much of Africa cannot access surgical care, compared with about 5% in high-income regions like Western Europe.


In 2015, GE Foundation launched the Safe Surgery 2020 Initiative with the goal of reducing maternal and trauma-related mortality and create stronger health systems by transforming access, quality and safety of surgical care in regions that need it most: low-and middle-income countries. Safe Surgery 2020 aims to build reliable surgical ecosystems and support the surgical teams that do lifesaving work in the world’s most resource-constrained operating rooms. Working at the hospital level, Safe Surgery 2020 will deliver leadership training to surgical teams, and further equip these hospitals through access to innovations like surgical oxygen and safe water solutions.

Safe Surgery 2020 is made possible with the support of GE Foundation. The initiative is hosted by Dalberg and is implemented by Jhpiego, Assist International, Harvard Program on Global Surgery and Social Change, and the G4 Alliance. Assist International is specifically working to enable increased innovation in safe surgery and anesthesia through partnerships and direct programs in priority areas for our partner countries and hospitals, such as clinical skills training, medical oxygen solutions, safe water, and more.

For more information about the Safe Surgery 2020 Initiative, please click here:


Assist us in improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Donate Get Involved Stay Informed