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Friends for ever, friends whenever, forever a friend

Everybody has friends, which is for a fact. We all need friends! These friends are always willing to listen, discuss and help in areas of need. Being the last team to visit Solomon Islands for the year 2011, Australian Orthopaedic Association through its Orthopaedic Outreach Program has sent a team namely Dr Des Soares (team leader and Orthopaedic Surgeon), Ms Lisa (Theatre Nurse Consultant) and Ms Babra (Occupational Therapist). For the team this is not the first time for them to visit our shores, especially for Dr Des Soares who marks his fourth visit to the Happy Isles. His involvement in the department has been an inspiration yet enriching in the consultations, Surgery, CME trainings and even facilitation of equipments being brought in from outside.

For this visit the team has screened more than 50 booked outpatient cases ranging from simple to very difficult orthopaedic cases where management is just beyond help.

During the week also a total of more than 20 operations have been done over the 5 days including knee arthroscopies (pinhole surgery in joints using camera guidance), Knee Joint and Shoulder Joint Reconstructions and plenty of old trauma which have caused disfigurement and deformity.

Dr Houasia and Dr Soares Lisa, Dr Houasia and Dr Soares
Dr Houasia operating with Dr Soares in theatre along with Lisa

The department according to it's head, Dr Patrick Houasia thanks and acknowledges all its friends in Australia through the Australian Orthopaedic Association, Australian College of Surgeons, Orthopaedic Outreach and even companies like Synthes Australia, Stryker for their continuous help and support in equipment donations and training support fundings. Having continuous visits from outsides bridges the gap of isolation usually experienced in the less developing nations and for that we are very grateful.

The Orthopaedic team leaves this weekend back to Brisbane, Australia but will surely return knowing the strong relationship carved through the many patient whom they have helped through this program.

To date we can proudly say that we have moved well ahead with training, equipments and most of all the ability to provide basic trauma management equal or better to what is done in our other smaller pacific neighbors.

With proper planning and assistance from our friends we can continue to improve patient care to a much higher standard but that alone depends on the commitment and dedication we have to our patients.

If you happen to come to Oberli's Fracture Clinic at the National Referral Hospital the motto stands clearly "LIFE IS MOTION, MOTION IS LIFE".

A very big thank you to all our friends in Australia, Switzerland, United States of America and elsewhere who have helped the department and all the patients seen within. TAGIO TUMAS

© November 2011, Dr Alex Bradley Munamua

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