The AO Alliance has just completed an intensive pediatric course in Yangon, Myanmar, from October 28-30, 2017. This was the very first of its kind in the entire country. The Pediatric Fracture Management course offered an interactive learning environment to demonstrate, discuss, and apply today’s principles and techniques for treating the bone injuries of children and adolescents.
With the support of international faculty, Mr Jonathan Dwyer (UK), Dr Theddy Slongo (Switzerland), Dr John Mukthopadhaya (India) and Dr Saw Aik (Malaysia), the course attracted over 40 participants from all over the country.
The significance of this course cannot be overstated. Often times, trauma and orthopedic surgeons are trained to treat adult patients, but appropriate fracture management for growing patients requires a different set of knowledge and skills. “Even in Germany, for example, 80% of kids are treated by adult-trauma surgeons, which is a problem,” said Dr Theddy Slongo.
Needless to say, this problem is a global one. Dr Slongo designed the courses in such a way that encourages participants to rethink their approach to treating the broken bones of growing patients. Participants were first shown x-rays from various cases and were asked to discuss how they would treat the injuries. Following the discussion, a lecture on pediatric fracture care was given. Participants then returned to the x-rays and tailored their treatment strategies to the specific needs of children and adolescents.
With this teaching method, improvement in the participants’ knowledge was immediately discernible. “The participants were very enthusiastic and motivated. They will take their experience back home, and will hopefully use it. Most of them asked for more courses like this,” said Dr Slongo.
The pediatric course is part of the AO Alliance Myanmar Country Initiative that is developing a national trauma plan for the country. The Initiative aims to boost the capacity of the country to deal with the ever-increasing number of people suffering from bone injuries.