Surgically treatable conditions account for around 30% of the global burden of disease, with 16.9 million lives lost due to surgical conditions in 2010. In 2014, The Lancet commissioned a landmark report describing the role of surgical and anaesthetic care in improving the health of individuals and economic productivity in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The report titled, ‘Global Surgery 2030’, had a number of key messages:
1: 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthetic care when needed.
2: 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to save lives and prevent disability.
3: 33 million individuals face catastrophic health expenditure due to payment for surgery and anaesthesia each year.
4: Investment in surgical and anaesthesia services is affordable, saves lives and promotes economic growth.
5: Surgery is an indivisible, indispensible part of healthcare.
World Orthopaedic Concern-UK (WOC-UK) aims to help tackle this burden through capacity building in the countries that need it most. We believe that UK trainees have an important role to play in improving the Orthopaedic provision in Low- and Middle income countries, by getting involved in projects happening around the globe today. We provide support for trainees who wish to link up with established overseas centres for the purposes of short and long-term Out Of Programme Experiences (OOPEs).
By enabling trainees to gain Orthopaedic exposure in the developing world, WOC-UK hopes to leave a legacy of passionate and able Consultants who have on-the-job experience of how to build capacity in the form of service provision, as well as teaching and training on a local, regional and even national scale.
For more information on current projects, as well as travel bursaries and scholarships available, see our website http://www.wocuk.org/ or contact James Berwin (BOTA Linkman for WOC-UK).
Pictures below were taken from my trip with Steve Mannion (Chairman of WOC-UK) to the Centre of Medical Rehabilitation in Vientiane, Laos. Despite Laos’ recent economic growth, the provision of Orthopaedic Surgery is poor. The purpose of these visits are to teach and train Orthopaedics to surgeons from around the country, some of whom have no formal Orthopaedic training at all. For this trip, I was awarded a travelling scholarship to help pay for airfare and accommodation. (Top Left: Club Foot in a young child, Top Right: Chronic Polio, Bottom Right: Neglected Club Foot).