2nd Chance

Training, campaigning, and care: promoting reconstructive surgery for repairing lives

Set up in 2010 by Dr. Pierre Quinodoz and his fellow surgeons in Geneva, Switzerland, 2nd Chance is a charity that promotes training in and access to reconstructive surgery in vulnerable regions and in post-conflict situations, particularly in Africa. The project came about thanks to the remarkable and entirely voluntary commitment of the doctors involved, with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It is now supported by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations. 

The challenge


of surgical interventions that are needed to save lives or prevent severe disabilities are carried out in disadvantaged or post-conflict regions

The after-effects of disease, of accidents, or of natural disasters, deformities, and war-related injuries are just some of the burdens that can affect the financial, psychological, and social conditions of life for those without access to reconstructive surgery. This is due to insufficient training on the part of local physicians, a lack of equipment, and the sheer distances involved for hospitals that could provide such care. At the same time, millions of patients suffering from severe disabilities could be helped.


Our ambition

Reconstructive surgery is not merely a form of treatment for people whose life is in danger but also a means of restoring their dignity and economic self-sufficiency. It represents a significant humanitarian and healthcare-related challenge and has been recognized as such by the World Health Organization in 2015. It is a challenge to which the doctors of the 2nd Chance program are responding each and every day, by sharing their skills in the techniques of reconstruction with their local counterparts.

To train and qualify local surgeons

 in countries with limited resources or in post-conflict situations by creating genuine networks of expertise there

To campaign for the development of reconstructive surgery

 in regional, national, and international public health programs and in humanitarian strategies

To provide care for the sick and the victims of war

by organizing surgical campaigns in situ and developing practical training materials 

Our solutions


A top-level academic course, lasting three years, in partnership with COSECSA (the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa)


The production and distribution of high added-value e-learning materials (3D training videos, online courses, and e-books)


A multilevel program of activities, including the planning and holding of workshops, the implementation of surgical campaigns, and cooperation with other NGOs.


Ongoing awareness-raising among researchers, decision-makers, and sponsors around the world with regard to the challenges involved in reconstructive surgery

“This project brings real benefits because of the major part it plays in combating isolation in the training field by enabling ongoing exchange with the scientific community elsewhere.”

Prof. Ahuka Ona Longombe
Associate Surgeon
2nd Chance, Democratic Republic of the Congo

"It is essential to train general surgeons locally and to teach them our repair techniques. This training must be accompanied by a lasting North-South collaboration and better communication between surgeons on the continent."

Dr. Pierre Quinodoz
2nd Chance

The way forward

  • To expand cooperation with COSECSA and further extend the scope of training, with the objective of doubling the number of local surgeons trained between now and 2020.
  • To multiply the number of surgical intervention campaigns and treat 600 new patients within five years (simple and complex deformities, giant goiters, fistulas).
  • To develop an online library of educational tools.
  • To contribute to regional and international discussions on access to surgical care, with a particular focus on Africa.

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