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We are helping transform the future of medical intervention by tackling some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges, including collaborating to reduce the burden of obstetric fistula and supporting surgical skills training that can significantly improve lives.

Advances in surgical technology have transformed medical care for most high-income countries, yet quality surgical care remains largely out of reach for people living in low-income countries. As many as 5 billion people8 do not have access to quality surgical care—closing this gap is critically important to advance global health equity.

Strengthening the Operating Room (OR)

In 2023, J&J and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation advanced team-based surgical skills training that can improve surgical outcomes and significantly improve lives, proudly supporting 40,000 OR and hospital staff trained in resource-limited settings. For example:

  • Treating long bone fracture in Malawi: Our program in Malawi to strengthen district level surgical systems through to the OR level, helps to facilitate patient access to care for long bone fractures through a multi-pronged approach:

    • donating orthopaedic implants and developing new products tailored to the specific needs of low- and middle-income countries;
    • advancing a systems-wide approach that addresses the challenges facing providers by ensuring that hospitals have the resources to utilize these tools; and
    • supporting training for surgeons and technical personnel.

    Through this program, we have reached five district hospitals and three central hospitals, putting quality trauma care within reach for 75% of Malawians.

  • Online training in Ghana: The Johnson & Johnson Foundation funded the rapid expansion of online interactive training at the Medical & Surgical Skills Institute (MSSI) in Accra, Ghana. The MSSI has expanded its digital and online training capabilities and quadrupled the number of trainees across a range of surgical and medical courses.
  • UN Global Surgery Learning Hub: The Johnson & Johnson Foundation funded the Global Surgery Foundation to establish the UN Global Surgery Learning Hub to strengthen the surgical community by streamlining and increasing access to online training for surgeons. The Hub maximizes digital learning by allowing easy online access to education and training for the surgical care workforce, strengthening each facet of the OR. Since its launch in mid-2023, the Hub has welcomed more than 3,000 learners who have completed more than a thousand certificates.

Supporting access to obstetric fistula care

For decades, we have collaborated to improve and support access to obstetric fistula care for women in Africa. We have supported the delivery of 19,900 fistula repair kits since 2021, including 11,000 in 2023, achieving our goal to reach 10,000 women, by strengthening the capacity of health workers and supporting delivery of surgical repair kits.

This year, we continued to support access to care for women living with fistula through our funding collaboration with Jhpiego, a nonprofit for international health affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, to strengthen training and community engagement. Led by Jhpiego in collaboration with county and national Ministries of Health, digital training is bridging the gap in access for health workers, including in rural settings, to receive the training they need to improve patient outcomes.

Advancing cleft surgery and care

Currently, 4.62 million people are living with an unrepaired or inadequately repaired cleft condition.9 Alongside the donation of J&J sutures, J&J and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation have funded Operation Smile surgical programs that have collectively provided more than 400,000 procedures that create “smiles” for children and young adults born with cleft conditions. As the official suture partner of Operation Smile, our shared mission is paving a path to health equity through access to safe surgery.

8 Meara J.G., Leather A.J.M., Hagander L., et al, “Global Surgery 2030: evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic development,”, The Lancet,–6736(15)60160-X/fulltext, accessed January 2024.

9 Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), “New report reveals nearly half of malnutrition-related deaths in those with cleft could be prevented with access to adequate treatment and support,”, accessed March 2024.

Operating Room