Profile of Dr Dhaval Desai: A longtime AO Alliance faculty member

Advancing the care of the injured through education and training

06 May 2020

The ever-increasing burden of injuries in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) necessitates urgent action at all levels of the healthcare system ”“ from global to local. To raise the quality of care for the injured, the AO Alliance leverages its wide network of experienced trauma and orthopedic professionals in LMICs in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to deliver needs-based fracture care education to local healthcare workers (HCW). Among those professionals is Dr Dhaval Desai, who is the head of his orthopedics unit at the Desai’s Orthopedic Hospital in Surat, India, and wears several hats for the AO Alliance.

Desai’s involvement with the AO Alliance predates the establishment of the organization, during his time as faculty at the AO Foundation’s Socio Economic Committee (AO SEC) ”“ our predecessor. When the AO Alliance became operational in 2015, Desai took on the role of regional faculty in Asia, delivering essential training to surgeons and operating room personnel (ORP) alike in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

“In 1997, I lost a very dear friend in a road traffic accident in India. That was the event in my life that made me think there is something more in my practice that I should do. When I went into faculty education in 2007 (AO SEC), I realized I could influence a higher number of lives by training frontline healthcare workers.”

Indeed, Desai does not just impart his surgical skills and knowledge to young surgeons as a supervisor and mentor of the AO Alliance fellowship host center, he also teaches surgeons and ORPs how to perfect their education skills both through AO Alliance Faculty Education Training and the Coaching Program. In December 2019, Desai joined a team of AO Alliance and AO Foundation educators in Davos, leading the first coaching program for a select number of our faculty from Asia and Africa. As an educator, Desai strives to advance our mission of improving the care of the injured in some of the most under-resourced parts of Asia.

“I’ve seen a lot of countries like Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia, where the rates of trauma are very high and the demands are the same due to the huge population numbers. These are the places where the AO Alliance can do good, by engineering surgeons and supporting ORPs and health technicians who work with trauma cases.”