Making surgery accessible, safe, and affordable

Meet Operation Smile

Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate1, a defect that can be repaired for as little as USD 240 and in as few as 45 minutes2. Unfortunately, children born in resource-poor environments don't always have access to life-saving reconstructive cleft surgeries. Operation Smile, a UBS Optimus Foundation partner, is on a mission to change that..


The problem you're helping to address

Safe surgery is severely underfunded. Significant workforce capacity and service delivery challenges limit access and quality while weak management skills and adoption of standard protocols lead to inefficient facilities and poor outcomes.

Five billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgery.3

Close to 17 million lives are lost every year from conditions that require surgical care.4

30 percent of the global burden of disease can be alleviated with surgery. 5

Shortage of + one million surgical, anesthetic, and obstetric providers across 136 low and middle income countries.6

Fewer than 50 percent of hospitals in Africa have effective infection control processes.7

More than 1/3 of hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa lack reliable sources of water and electricity. 8

More than 1/3 of hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa lack reliable sources of water and electricity.9

Shortage of + one million surgical, anesthetic, and obstetric providers across 136 low and middle income countries.6


Safe surgery is critical to achieving universal health coverage

Transforming surgery will improve outcomes in priority areas including maternal health, trauma, and non-communicable disease. Also, safe surgery is a key entry point to improving health care systems.

Maternal health 100,000+ maternal deaths could be averted each year through access to safe C-sections.10
 

Neonatal health Access to C-sections reduces neonatal mortality by 30–50 percent.11

Trauma Access to adequate trauma care could save 2.6 million people each year who would otherwise die of injuries  in low-resource countries.12

Non-communicable disease Surgery is responsible for 65 percent of cancer cure and control.14


We can help you maximize your philanthropy in the area of safe surgery by focusing on four critical areas: workforce, infrastructure, equipment and supplies, and processes.

Strategic focus area

Method

Target output

Expand and upskill the surgical workforce

  • Support the development and delivery of competency-based training curricula and job aids
  • Introduce and replicate quality improvement methodologies
  • Scale up tele-mentoring and lowdose, high frequency (LDHF) content delivery approaches

  • # surgical, anesthetic, and obstetric specialists per 100,000 population
  • # operations performed per 100,000 population
  • Increased proportion of patients reporting satisfaction with surgical care received

Invest in essential infrastructure, equipment and supplies

  • Provide technical assistance to governments
  • Support activities to de-risk investment opportunities
  • Partner with the private sector to increase access to affordable tools and technologies

Increased % of population within two hours access to a facility that can perform caesarean delivery and laparotomy, and treat open fractures

Demonstrate replicable and scalable models to

expand access to surgical care

  • Invest in pilot programs with strong implementation designs and potential for scale
  • Document and disseminate evidence based models
  • Support replication of program components with evidence of impact

  • # pilots of new financing and delivery mechanisms such as development impact bonds (DIBs) and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
  • Increased volume and quality of evidence generated and disseminated

Get in touch

Ready to start a conversation? Contact our UBS Philanthropy Services team or your UBS advisor today to learn how we can help you maximize your impact.