Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The COSECSA Oxford Orthopaedic Link (COOL) programme which links the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and NDORMS at the University of Oxford delivered two surgical courses in Africa last month.

Hip and Knee Course, Zimbabwe 2015
Hip and Knee Course, Zimbabwe 2015

Professor Lavy, who leads the COOL programme, commented, 'It is wonderful to see UK colleagues help strengthen the health workforce overseas in places where there is a real shortage of health workers. These training courses have helped to improve care for many patients affected by musculoskeletal conditions. Moreover, our teams have returned to the UK with a renewed commitment and passion for their clinical practice here.'

Consultant surgeons Max Gibbons, Duncan Whitwell and Henk Giele from the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre trained 37 Ethiopian surgeons in the management of malignant bone tumours and the use of flaps for reconstructive surgery at CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital and Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa.

Duncan Whitwell teaching at tumour course in Africa

Photo: Duncan Whitwell teaching at tumour course.

The surgical management of these tumours in Ethiopia is primarily amputation based, with little available expertise to offer limb-sparing surgery. Due to the high level of trauma secondary to road traffic accidents, there is a great need to train the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons in the use of muscle and fasciocutaneous flaps for open fractures.

Max Gibbons, course director, commented, "Surgeons and patients are the same the world over. What this course gave to all of us was a greater understanding of how we share the same problems. Courses such as these are an opportunity to share all we know and have experienced, which is of great benefit to our future patients. To give an example, a patient arrived at the hospital on the last day with severe trauma due to an animal bite. The local surgeons and visiting faculty discussed how to avoid amputation for this patient with a flap and soft tissue reconstruction technique learnt on a cadaver earlier in the day."

The Ethiopia tumour course was followed by a hip and knee surgery course hosted by United Bulawayo Central Hospital in Zimbabwe.

NDORMS orthopaedic surgeons Hemant Pandit (course director) and Professor Chris Lavy, as well as NOC consultant orthopaedic surgeons Roger Gundle, Adrian Taylor, Chris Dodd, Max Gibbons and consultant anaesthetist David Pigott trained 35 orthopaedic registrars from Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

One Zimbabwean orthopaedic registrar said, "Thank you very much for a wonderful and very insightful course - it really opened my eyes to the infinite possibility and needs of orthopaedics in Africa."

These two surgical courses were part of the COSECSA Oxford Orthopaedic Link (COOL) programme which links the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and NDORMS at the University of Oxford. In addition to funding from the Health Partnership Scheme (UK Department for International Development and Tropical Health Education Trust), the courses also received support from industry, with Stanmore Implants co-funding the tumour course and Zimmer Biomet providing saw bone equipment for the hip and knee course workshops.

In the media

Oxford Mail, November 2015

Similar stories

NDORMS researchers awarded for Dupuytren research

Awards Hand Kennedy Main

Three NDORMS researchers have received awards from the International Dupuytren Society, a patient organisation that brings together Dupuytren Disease patient societies from across the world.

Hope for rheumatoid arthritis patients who are non-responsive to anti-TNF

Arthritis Kennedy Main

New research published in The Lancet shows that tocilizumab is a more effective treatment than rituximab for rheumatoid arthritis patients with a poor response to anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF).

A new study maps the expression of innate immune receptors during the course of arthritis

Arthritis Kennedy Main

The research, which was a collaboration with researchers from Oxford University and Queen Mary University of London and published in Journal of Autoimmunity, looked at changes in receptors known as toll-like receptors (TLRs) in arthritis at different stages of disease.

International Women's Day

Department Main

It’s International Women's Day! This year’s theme is #Choosetochallenge. We’re celebrating some of the amazing women at NDORMS, and asking them what changes they’d like to see in medical sciences over the next 100 years.

Patients and carers invited to join new group helping to shape research and treatment of bones, muscles and joints

Main PPI

Oxford’s newest patient partner group, OPEN ARMS launches today to explore the causes, treatment and care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Its first three patient partners explain why they are involved and invite other members of the public to join the team.

NDORMS academics named NIHR Senior Investigators


Congratulations to Professor Jonathan Rees who has been announced as a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR Senior Investigator).