Malawi fracture care registries for improved care of the injured

In September 2016, the AO Alliance launched a clinical research project to establish fracture care registries in Malawi. Four hospitals were targeted for the project: Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Kamuzu Central Hospital, Nkhata Bay District Hospital and Mangochi District Hospital.

Malawi, much like other low-income countries, faces an increasing burden of injuries. Poorly managed fractures often result in physical disability, leading to lost productivity in the economically active age group. The need to improve and strengthen trauma care to reduce morbidity and disability associated with fractures is great. However, effective improvement of fracture care requires baseline knowledge of needs and available resources. Injury data that is routinely collected in the hospitals selected for the project has significant quality deficits. Without reliable data, it is impossible to understand the needs, monitor changes over time and assess the impact of interventions. Fracture care registries were therefore established to assist in data-driven quality improvements.

The project came to completion in September 2020, with over 23,000 cases recorded at the hospitals. Findings of the study have been compiled into a report that will be disseminated to the participating hospitals, as well as to the ministry of health.