Many rural areas in Africa still have high maternal and infant death rates because there are no local surgeons. Many children drop out of school because their untreated disabilities prevent them from walking the long distances to classes. Surgery can help women who suffer after prolonged childbirth or restore eyesight for the elderly suffering from cataracts. Management of congenital disabilities such as a cleft palate guarantees better nutrition for children. Emmanuel M. Makasa, a Zambian surgeon and representative to the United Nations, has been fighting for years to make surgery accessible to all people. He has a special interest in providing surgical access to rural communities in the developing world as well as helping physically challenged people lead a better life. This is the third essay in the Big Ideas series created by the European Investment Bank. Previous essays addressed water security and artificial intelligence.
About the Author
Professor Emmanuel Malabo Makasa is the immediate past Assistant Registrar-Licensure of the Health Professionals Council of Zambia. He was appointed Honorary Adjunct Professor for Global Surgery in the Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (2017-2020). He had served for five years (2012 – 2017) as the Republic of Zambia's Global Health Diplomat at the United Nations in Geneva and Vienna during which time he led the 194 Member States of the World Health Organization to recognise and endorse Surgery and Anaesthesia as part of Public Health and Primary Health Care, as a component of Universal Health Coverage and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Additionally, Professor Emmanuel M. Makasa was technical coordinator of Health Attachés' from the African Unions' Permanent Missions at the UN in Geneva (2014). He is a distinguished Orthopaedics and Trauma surgeon turned Global Health Diplomat who previously served in the Zambian Ministry of Health Senior Management as Deputy Director responsible for Emergency Health Services. He had also previously served as Secretary General of the Zambia Medical Association and as Secretary General of the Surgical Society of Zambia. He is an honorary Fellow of the College of Surgeons of East Central & Southern Africa. He serves on the Advisory Boards of the G4 Alliance and the Boards of Trustees of the Lusaka Orthopaedics Research & Education Trust. He has served in the past as an honorary Lecturer at the University of Zambia, School of Medicine. Professor Makasa was the Hugh Greenwood Lecturer at British Association of Paediatric Surgeons (2017); the A J Orenstein Lecturer (2017) at the University of Witwatersrand. He is the past recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship from the USA Department of State, the Dr. Benjamin L. Van Duuren Travel Grant, the Ridge Bursary and the AO Foundation Educational Grant.