08. March 2017
The ORTHOCON 2017 symposium in Kathmandu provided the AO Alliance with an opportunity to highlight its activities in Asia, and more specifically Nepal.
(L-R) Dr Heiner Winker from Germany, Dr Rahim from Bangladesh (AOAF fellow in from Bangladesh), Dr M Shrivastava (AOAF Asia Fellowship coordinator), Dr Kyaw Thu (AOAF fellow from Myanmar) and Dr Claude Martin.
Nepal is a beautiful country, with a difficult life for its population. The remote, and mostly difficult-to-access areas, make for complicated delivery of care for the injured. Injury has become a major cause of death and disability worldwide and continues to remain a major public health problem, especially in low-income countries (LICs) globally. Over 90% of the mortality and disability burden is borne by LICs. The burden is predicted to grow in many of these countries due to rapid motorization, inadequate measures towards injury prevention and sub-optimal care of the injured. Fractures and musculoskeletal injuries contribute to this mortality burden and undoubtedly remain a major reason for residual disability in Nepal. However a dearth of adequate data in LMICs hampers the effort to place the fractures and musculoskeletal injuries on the public health agenda in these countries.
A distinguished panel of local and international guests attracted close to 200 participants at the Nepalese National orthopedic congress, ORTHOCON 2017 held in Kathmandu on February 16, 2017. The AO Alliance Foundation ran a symposium during the event, chaired by Prof Mahesh Shrivastava, to highlight its activities in Asia, and more specifically Nepal.
Dr med Claude Martin jr, the Managing Director of AO Alliance, outlined the organization's overarching fracture care education program in eight low-income countries in Asia, including Nepal. The three year initiative aims to deliver appropriate fracture care education to many different types of healthcare workers.
Prof Ram Kewal Shah detailed the state of trauma care in Nepal, with its many challenges and called for collaboration through a broader country initiative to improve care of the injured.
Prof Ramesh Prasad Singh elaborated on the AO Alliance's education activities since the beginning in Nepal and focused on the tremendous added value of the National and Regional Fellowship programs. He encouraged the young surgeons in the audience to apply.
The session was closed with testimony from Prof Heiner Winker from Germany. He has been coming to Nepal for the last three years on a reverse fellowship at the Dhulikhel Hospital, Kathmandu University Hospital. He has been fortunate enough to be able to train two fellows, one from Myanmar and one from Bangladesh, as well as the local trainees, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Instilling the AO Principles of Fracture Management as well as some germanic rigidity has proved itself successful.
The symposium achieved its objective of creating awareness for AO Alliance activities in Nepal, and was an excellent precursor to the upcoming AO Alliance's needs analysis event to take place on June 9-10, 2017.
Nepal Country Initiative
Clinicians, Ministry of Health officials, representatives from AO Alliance and the Swiss Ambassador to Nepal, Dr Jörg Frieden met after ORTHOCON for a preparatory meeting of the Nepal Country Initiative.
Distinguished guests outlined the possibilities for a more integrated and coordinated trauma plan for Nepal and agreed to a needs assessment exercise in Nepal on June 9-10, 2017. The "silent killer", that is, road traffic accidents in Nepal, needs to be tamed through prevention, better care of the injured and capacity building nationally. Through strategic decisions from the Ministry of Health to establish seven National Level 1 trauma centres, AO Alliance will provide much needed fracture care education in the future.
The needs assessment will require a tremendous amount of work, and will result in an AO Alliance Country Initiative in Nepal with collaboration of the Ministry of Health and other NGOs active in trauma care in the country.
(L-R) Mr Jay Kishor Lal, Dr Ram Shah, Mr. Bhakta Joshi, Dr Claude Martin
Mr. Bhogendra Dotel from Ministry of Health
Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha from Ministry of Health
Dr Claude Martin thanks Mr. Bhogendra Dotel for his speech
Dr Claude Martin (AOAF Managing Director), presentation on AOAF Fracture Solutions Project Asia