The inaugural issue of The Lancet Global Health (TL-GH) goes online tomorrow, 25 June, 2013 – an early Christmas gift for those of us interested in global health issues and open, online dissemination of knowledge and ideas. In advance of its launch, TL-GH posed the following question for its “parallel blog site”: ‘What is the most important research priority in global health for the post-2015 era?’.

Here are my thoughts on a growing and critically  important, future practice and research direction for global health:

Walk into any disaster or conflict-zone makeshift hospital pharmacy and you see limitless naloxone supplies implicitly communicating an emergent post-MDG era research priority – disaster anesthesia. Contemporary global health is undergoing its own “epidemiological transition” from communicable diseases to populations with traumatic injuries. Co-register Global Burden of Disease data to demographic change, Geneva’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, non-international conflict civilian morbidity (Syria) with environmental change and one readily calculates the need to map disaster perioperative disease distributions, determinants, techniques, professionalization and outcomes. This 21rst century “crisis-mapping” direction would make the Father of Epidemiology proud – and, yes, John Snow was an Anesthesiologist.

Catherine M. Mullaly, MD FRCPC MPH


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