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Advancing Public Health

Six healthcare professionals attend to a patient suffering from COVID-19 in an operating room setting

Global Surgery

As part of the world's largest and most broadly based healthcare company, J&J MedTech is transforming the future of medical intervention and pioneering the next frontier of patient care. By tackling some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges across surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions, we work to save lives and ignite all that’s possible in every body.

Through our Ethicon franchise, we deliver surgical technologies, including advanced digital solutions and robotics. At DePuy Synthes, we maintain one of the most comprehensive orthopaedics portfolios in the world that helps heal and restore movement for the millions of patients we serve, including joint reconstruction and other specialties. Additionally, our Cardiovascular, Stroke and Specialty Solutions business provides healthcare providers with tools for neurovascular care; heart rhythm disorders; ear, nose and throat treatment; and breast reconstruction. Through Johnson & Johnson Vision, we continue to deliver innovation from specialty contact lenses that correct vision and also adapt to changing light conditions or include an antihistamine to help relieve allergic eye itch to intraocular lenses that deliver the widest range of continuous vision for cataracts surgery patients (see section: Vision).

J&J MedTech is committed to elevating the standard of care in surgery by bringing insights, scale, ingenuity and new technologies to meet the needs of more people in underserved communities around the world, using our global surgery capabilities to address healthcare inequities, expand patient access, improve outcomes and reduce health system costs.

State of Global Surgery18

5 billion
people do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed.
9 out of 10
people in low-income and lower-middle-income countries cannot access basic surgical care.
313 million
surgical procedures are undertaken worldwide each year; only 6% occur in the poorest countries, where more than one-third of the world's population lives.

Johnson & Johnson has also supported the treatment of obstetric fistula since we first donated sutures in the 1980s and we have continued to donate sutures to health centers and hospitals in Africa for obstetric fistula repair surgeries for many years. Recognizing the continued unmet need for high-quality surgical care, we created a dedicated Global Surgery team as part of our GPH GPH Global Public Health organization to deliver transformational impact for those suffering with obstetric fistula in sub-Saharan Africa.

We have included an important ambition as part of our Health for Humanity 2025 Goals—to help reduce the number of women suffering from obstetric fistula.19

Health for Humanity 2025 Goals | Global Health Equity

Reduce Burden of Obstetric Fistula
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On track
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On track
Progress: Supported delivery of 3,200 fistula repair surgeries.

Piloted new surgical instruments in Sierra Leone to increase patient comfort, maximize surgeon visibility and improve safety for the patient and surgeon.

About obstetric fistula

It is estimated that more than 2 million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Obstetric fistula is an abnormal opening between a woman’s genital tract and her urinary tract or rectum and is directly linked to one of the major causes of maternal mortality: obstructed labor. Obstetric fistula is preventable with improved practices and treatable with timely access to surgical care. Preventing and managing obstetric fistula contribute to the SDG SDG Sustainable Development Goal (of the United Nations) 3 of improving maternal health.20

Additional examples of efforts made to reduce the burden of obstetric fistula in 2021 include:

Support in Kenya and Tanzania: We supported obstetric fistula procedures and donated surgical products in Kenya (the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network) and in Tanzania (the Changing Lives, Changing Communities Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Hospital and The Mabinti Centre, both in Dar es Salaam). As a manufacturer of the specialist suture that allows for accurate repair of obstetric fistula, we aimed to ensure continuity of supply of sutures to rural areas, allowing obstetric fistula repairs to continue, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A surgical team in an operating room
Dr. Rachel Pope performs an obstetric fistula repair surgery using new instruments at the Freedom from Fistula Hospital in Sierra Leone.

Trialing new surgical instruments in Sierra Leone: In 2021, we trialed new surgical instruments for obstetric fistula at the Freedom from Fistula Hospital in Sierra Leone, treating patients with new fistula scissors and a suture/catheter organizer. These improvements aim to provide high-quality instrumentation to increase patient comfort, maximize surgeon visibility, and improve safety for both the patient and the surgeon. By reducing cost and surgery time, the goal is to develop a sustainable sourcing model in resource-limited settings. This development was progressed in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Pope, Assistant Professor, Urology Institute, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, as part of our initiative to develop or improve three surgical instruments used during fistula surgery. Having received positive feedback from surgeons, the new instruments are planned for use in Kenya in 2022.

Obstetric fistula education for surgeons and other HCPs HCPs Healthcare professional : In March 2021, we partnered with Medical & Surgical Skills Institute (MSSI) to provide a two-day obstetric fistula panel, attended by 500 medical professionals from across sub-Saharan Africa, including obstetric fistula surgeons, physicians, nurses, midwives and medical officers. This interactive virtual event was the first time a world-class panel of experts had been pulled together to address key aspects of fistula prevention, repair and rehabilitation in Ghana.

The MSSI in Accra, Ghana, was established in 2005 by Johnson & Johnson and other partners, including the West Africa College of Surgeons, and has become a center of excellence for advanced healthcare training in West Africa, providing hands-on medical and surgical skills training in advanced trauma, including childbirth injuries.

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