There is an increasing burden of neglected surgical disease in the continent with 143 million additional surgical procedures needed in LMICs each year to save lives and prevent disability. Some of the top causes of premature deaths among women on the African continent are due to maternal related deaths and cancer related deaths. (The current burden of cancer related deaths in developing nations, has now surpassed the total deaths from malaria, HIV and TB combined). Many of these causes are amenable to surgical intervention.
Our interest is in helping to develop a women's health platform for Africa. This is a multi- layered concern which needs to address issues of health awareness, education, early detection and treatment of disease but also needs to consider equity and empowerment of women and to determine what the diverse barriers are, to access to care, in our populations.
The mandate of this group is to increase awareness of women’s health concerns. The directive for our members is to be catalysts for change in their immediate environment and to use the group and its resources to educate, advocate and empower our women and the greater population. We will also use this forum to network, support each other and to support existing initiatives. We intend to develop and support collaborative projects aimed at improving surgical care. An equally critical task is to develop and foster collaborative research aimed at women’s health concerns and surgical pathology.