Corporate Social Responsibility
Fracture Solutions for Africa and Asia
The educational flagship program, Fracture Solutions for Africa and Asia, launched in January 2016, sets AO Alliance apart as a leader in nonoperative and operative fracture care education in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
The Fracture Solutions program spans 24 countries in English and French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa, and seven countries in Asia. Improving nonoperative and operative fracture care in LMIC, by building local capacity to treat injured patients, is the program's goal. It works towards this by:
- training a variety of health care workers (HCW) that deal directly with injured patients—paramedics, traditional bonesetters, general practitioners (GPs), general and trauma and orthopedic surgeons, operating room personnel (ORP)—to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients under their care
- training carefully selected HCWs to become faculty themselves so that they can in turn help to develop the skills of junior HCWs to deliver proper and appropriate care
- sponsoring residents and ORP for fellowships abroad
- delivering Good Clinical Research Practice courses.
In 2018, numerous activities were undertaken to strengthen the surgical and non-surgical skills of HCW in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia: nonoperative and operative fracture management training sessions (basic and advanced), faculty education training sessions, sponsorship of regular and reverse fellowships, as well as sponsoring AO Alliance faculty so they can attend AO Trauma courses.
1,382 surgeons and residents trained
586 ORP trained
280 other frontline HCW trained
1,023 surgeons and residents trained
461 ORP trained
292 paramedics trained
114 other frontline HCW trained
As AO Alliance celebrates its successes in deploying the ambitious Fracture Solutions program, it takes pause to review the challenges it encountered along the way. Managing Director Claude Martin jr., explained: “Delivering face-to-face educational events in some remote areas of the countries where AO Alliance works has come with some logistical challenges. The greatest needs are outside the main cities, but we thankfully have always found solutions to get to our stakeholders. Most importantly, we are grateful that many national and local faculty have been trained to help spread their knowledge and share their skills for the betterment of fracture care.”
When asked about the impact of the program, paraphrasing Prof Mamoun Khalid Kremli, AO Trauma faculty, Martin said this: “The impact is ultimately the improvement of patient and fracture care. A trauma and orthopedic surgeon will treat many patients in one week. Multiply this by how many weeks they work in a month, then how many months they work in a year, and the impact is incredible.”
Measuring the direct health impacts of the educational program at this point, however, is difficult. Course evaluations and various assessments are carried out systematically to gauge participant satisfaction and provide feedback for future courses. Impact assessments are one area of further focus for 2019.
Having concluded its first three-year cycle in 2018, Fracture Solutions has now been refinanced for another three years thanks to the generous contribution of the Wyss Medical Foundation. More advanced fracture care education, remaining pertinent and appropriate to the LMIC environment, will be implemented in 2019. There is a great need for this as countries rapidly mature and motorize, creating a new generation of trauma patients from road traffic accidents.