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AO Alliance Faculty Exchange in Cambodia

Dr Joseph Mwanga Recounts his Experiences in Cambodia

My name is Dr Joseph Mwanga. I am a Trauma and Orthopedic surgeon from the Muhimbili Orthopedic Institute in Tanzania. I have been working with AOA as faculty for the past four years with great success in delivering knowledge through teaching and sharing experiences throughout English-speaking Africa.

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Photos: Dr Mwanga and participants. 

This year I had the opportunity to attend two parallel AOA courses in Siem Reap (Cambodia) as part of a faculty exchange program. This event took place August 18-19, 2017 and it was an opportunity for me to learn and share experiences with other surgeons and Operating Room Personnel (ORP) in Asia.

In Cambodia, I found many similarities in how we treat trauma patients, and this was after visiting two hospitals. I came to know that motorcycle crashes are the main causes of injuries in Africa and that part of Asia, and service provision is a challenge.

The training was very interesting; I met new people, and experienced the language barrier. I came to know that AOA is not only about education; it is also about the complex nature of treating our patients while having a common language of communication, through formal lectures, practical sessions and discussion groups. This was my first time participating in the ORP course as faculty, and to me it was a very important exposure and experience. The two courses were very successful; this was because of committed faculty and dedicated participants.

While in Siem Reap, the social life was excellent thanks to the good people who were friendly and hospitable. I had the opportunity to visit almost all the important tourist attractions in that city. The memorable ones were the temples. I used to hear, read and watch movies about temples in Cambodia, but this time I saw and tested the real story.

I would stop here but I cannot without thanking AOA for such an opportunity. It gave me a new perspective and experience. I came to learn that fracture language is real, despite language and cultural barriers. I thank Dr Phot, Dr Kanora and the team for their exceptional dedication and commitment to the faculty and participants.

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