Strengthening Trauma and Orthopedic Care in the Pacific Islands: A Partnership with PIOA

Our key partner in the Pacific, the Pacific Islands Orthopaedic Association (PIOA), is dedicated to the advancement and modernization of trauma and orthopedic surgical care across the South Pacific islands.

Established in Honiara, Solomon Islands, PIOA plays a vital role by providing much-needed training and support to general surgeons from nine Pacific Island nations: Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu.

With the financial support of the AO Alliance, PIOA delivers two training modules annually.

In 2023, 18 general surgeons from American Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste participated in these training modules. The first module, held in Apia, Samoa, covered three themes: Pediatrics, Tumors, and Infection/Inflammation. Thirteen surgeons participated. The second training, hosted in Suva, Fiji, centered on the Knee and Foot & Ankle. Five trainees attended, refining their skills and knowledge under the mentorship of seasoned experts.

In addition to these trainings, PIOA organizes weekly lectures on prevalent trauma and orthopedic pathologies, offering invaluable opportunities for continuous learning, and ensuring that trainees are well-prepared to tackle the challenges and complexities of clinical cases in the Pacific region.

In March 2024, trauma-focused trainings were conducted in Fiji. These modules provided students with a systematic approach to diagnosing and managing trauma and orthopedic conditions. Emphasizing clinical history-taking, thorough examinations, and structured decision-making processes, the sessions covered the management of soft tissues, closed and open fractures. The next trainings will be on upper limbs and clinical research and will take place in Samoa in September.

With their aligned missions, the partnership between the AO Alliance and PIOA is instrumental in advancing trauma and orthopedic care across the region. This partnership not only facilitates the exchange of knowledge and best practices but also fosters a supportive network for the ongoing learning and professional development of the trainees. Together, the AO Alliance and PIOA work towards a common goal of improving patient outcomes and raising the standard of orthopedic care in underserved communities throughout the Pacific.