The AO Alliance organized two educational events in Ngaoundal, in the Adamaoua region of Cameroon, from April 19 to 22, 2021. The first was a seminar for community healthcare workers on fracture management, attended by 20 participants. This was followed by a three-day course on the principles of surgical treatment of the most common fractures, attended by 32 physicians and operating room personnel (ORP).
Community healthcare workers have an essential role to play in transmitting information about malaria, infant diseases, prenatal hygiene, and other health issues. The aim of the seminar was to inform them about the seriousness of fractures, that fracture treatments are available and safe, so that they could then share the information with their communities.
The course for physicians and ORP was dedicated to the treatment of common injuries and fractures encountered in low- and middle-income countries. The lectures were followed by practical exercises (nonoperative and operative treatment methods), focusing on immediate post-injury care and how to best care for them in the operating theatre.
By organizing two different events simultaneously in the same region, the AO Alliance was able to reach different audiences for maximum impact. The city of Ngaoundal was chosen because it did not have sufficiently trained practitioners to treat injuries. Cameroon has about 30 trauma and orthopedic specialists for 25 million inhabitants, and most of them are in Douala and Yaoundé. It is therefore essential to decentralize the fracture care.
Dr Florent Anicet Lekina, AO Alliance course chair and French-speaking Africa steering committee chair, concluded: “The impact of this course for the Adamaoua region is important because it allows the establishment of a network of competent practitioners of fracture management in this region.”