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This was started in 2011 chaired and coordinated by Dr. Peter Lee (SOA). Volunteer orthopaedic surgeons from the AOA members join as a group to give lectures, workshops, and live surgeries in different selected sites in the ASEAN region. There are at least 3-4 Outreach Projects per year

ASEAN Orthopaedic Association Outreach Programmes


The challenge for any organization is to remain relevant to the needs of its members. As the ASEAN Orthopaedic Association membership increases in size, and with rapid subspecialty development creating splinter groups that form smaller organisations, the AOA must constantly reinvent itself to continue to serve the needs of its members. Outreach programmes allow existing members to get together for a common and worthwhile cause and also create a platform for special interest groups to promote their development and cooperation.


The AOA Outreach Programme was initiated in 2011 to provide a platform for further interaction and cooperation amongst orthopaedic surgeons in ASEAN. The AOA outreach subcommittee organizes groups of volunteers from ASEAN to visit provincial communities, the location to be decided by the host country’s national association, to interact with the local surgeons through education and provision of treatment services.



Any member country in the AOA can elect to host a programme. The National association chooses the venue, preferably one where infrastructure development and provision of orthopaedic care are deficient and where there exist opportunities for teaching. Volunteers from ASEAN with the necessary expertise to achieve the goals of the particular programme are then selected. These volunteers can have various levels of expertise and experiences. The programme may include didactic lectures, symposia, clinical case presentations and discussions, workshops, outpatient clinics, patient management and surgeries. The choice and combination of these activities depend very much on the needs and requirements of the local host community and the resources available to each volunteer team.


Volunteers make their own travel arrangements and raise their own travel expenses. The AOA outreach subcommittee facilitated the processing of visas, coordinated between the various National associations, and when possible, provided some funding.



Outreach Programmes


1. Klaten Outreach

The inaugural AOA outreach project was conducted in Klaten, Indonesia from 18-20 March 2011. The provincial Dr Suradji Tritonegoro hospital in Klaten was in the process of acquiring knee arthroscopic instrumentation, and local orthopaedic surgeons had no experience performing arthroscopic or total knee replacement surgeries. Dr Romaniyanto from Klaten was the local programme coordinator and there were 5 volunteers from Singapore and Thailand who conducted outpatient clinics with the resident doctors at a local hospital. Interesting clinical problems were presented and discussed. A symposium on arthroscopic knee surgery and trauma management at Soeharso Surakarta was organised together with the local faculty headed by Dr Ismail from Solo. There were more than 80 regional participants for this symposium. A total knee arthroplasty workshop was performed using saw bones. Eight surgeries were also performed consisting of 3 arthroscopic knee surgeries, 2 operations on malunited tibial fractures, and 3 total knee replacements. These surgeries involved hands-on demonstrations for the local surgeons, and for those unable to be in the operating theatre, with live video projection to a viewing room. Funding for the arthroplasty implants for total knee replacements came from generous industry donations.


The volunteers were treated to local Sudanese and Javanese cuisine during their stay. There was also an opportunity to visit the historical world heritage site at Prambanan, and the active Merapi volcano before departure from Indonesia.


2. Surabaya outreach

The programme in Surabaya, Indonesia was from 16 to 18 March 2012. The theme was “Challenges in Paediatric Orthopaedics – Neglected Cases”. Prof Sharaf Ibrahim was the leader of the team of 10 volunteers from Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. Prof Tri Wahyu Martanto was the local coordinator. One hundred ninety participants attended this meeting, many coming from the surrounding districts and provinces.


Ten members from the Indonesian Paediatric Orthopaedic Association, together with the overseas volunteers presented didactic lectures, took part in symposia and clinical case discussions, and resident teaching. A Ponseti demonstration and workshop on clubfoot models were presented; participants in the workshop were then guided with their newly acquired skills to treat infants with varying degrees of foot deformities. Surgeries were performed on a severely deformed foot, and on a malunited femoral fracture using intra-medullary elastic nailing. These procedures were also telecasted live to programme participants.


There were many opportunities for social interaction amongst the volunteer faculty and the regional participants. The visitors were introduced to local cultural dances and learned to play the angklong. The more adventurous were also treated to a ride on inflatable boats on the rapids that traverse the nearby mountainous terrain.


3. Yangon outreach

From 3 to 5 August 2012, Prof Kamolporn Kaewpronsawan led a team of 10 volunteers from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand to Yangon, Myanmar.. The local coordinator was Prof Myint Thaung, President of the Myanmar Medical Association. The outreach theme was “Paediatric Orthopaedics”. There were 70 participants in this meeting.


As in our other programmes, the volunteers presented didactic lectures, conducted clinical case discussions and symposia. A Ponseti workshop was presented using clubfoot models, and the volunteers demonstrated the Ponseti technique on patients with foot deformities. Volunteers had the privilege of visiting some of the more famous attractions such as the ornate and beautiful pagodas during their short stay. The local hosts also organized a cultural evening to showcase their rich heritage.


The aim of the AOA outreach programmes is to involve many ASEAN surgeons as volunteers and to reach out to as many communities as possible. However, marrying the needs of each community with the expertise of the volunteers is a challenge. Each National association should design plans for future projects in their own country, choose project locations, and decide on local requirements and the timing of the projects. The AOA outreach subcommittee can then collate these requests and organize teams of volunteers as resources allow.


Outreach Committee Chairman

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