Building Solid Foundations for the AOAF – A Successful First Year
Driven to improve fracture care in LMICs, Dr med Claude Martin jr., Managing Director of the AOAF, crisscrossed 20 countries in 2015. During this intensive year of travel, he had the opportunity to interact with extremely motivated surgeons, nurses, clinical officers and others who greeted him with high expectations. The interventions of AOAF aim to achieve its objectives through mid and long-term sustainable local capacity-building programmes. These can include financing for education, fellowships, clinical research and clinical services support.
These programmes can be country-specific or global in nature. The country-specific programmes are aimed at the least developed countries. The global programmes can address medically critical and relevant issues such as:
- Trauma care strategy plans
- Financing platforms to promote crowd financing for AOAF but also AO Surgeon projects
- Nonoperative fracture treatment
- Trading platform for second-hand equipment within a controlled chain of custody
- Telemedicine to reach and assist in remote areas
AOAF used 2015 primarily to define its long-term mission: the improvement of fracture care in LMICs. To begin fulfilling this ambitious objective, we implemented the business processes necessary for such an endeavour. Operationally, we performed needs assessments in Ethiopia and Myanmar, launched a comprehensive country initiative in Malawi, and began a pilot project in Myanmar.
We also focused on building up our basic infrastructure, including branding, information technology, human resources, personnel, and the securing of office space in Davos, Switzerland. We launched our website in July 2015. Most of our projects had to be developed from the ground up, and one of our greatest challenges was establishing an effective governance structure.
The new AOAF Board, with the exception of one vacant position, was appointed in June 2015. AOAF can now rely on six highly reputable and experienced members who collectively contribute to our development with the right set of medical and management skills (Trauma & Orthopaedics [T&O], emerging economies), regional knowledge (Africa and Asia), and access to both decision-makers and prospective partners needed for the fulfilment of our mission.
I believe that no other institution is able to translate current knowledge into meaningful, operational activities at the country level better than we can.
— Abdoulie Janneh, Board Member of AOAF