Trauma is rapidly becoming a major cause of death and disability in Africa. As the continent continues to develop, road infrastructure, building and industrial employment are resulting in increasing numbers of trauma victims, but with little in the way of coordinated trauma care facilities.
NOTAA has been established by a group of health care professionals from the North West of England to support the development of sustainable Orthopaedic Trauma services in Africa. We engage with all staff groups working in Orthopaedic Units around the North west to enable volunteers to collaborate to improve the treatment of patients in Africa
Our current NOTAA projects are centred in Malawi and Ethiopia
Our Malawi project (Orthopaedic Implants for Malawi) has been running for 5 years, in partnership with fully trained Consultant Orthopaedic surgeons at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. In 2012, it became apparent, that despite having operating theatres and trained surgeons, patients were frequently left untreated due to lack of equipment and implants. A fund raising initiative was set up to help purchase low cost implants and instruments from India. This has enables patients to be treated using modern surgical techniques, resulting in better outcomes. Patients who previously assumed they were unable to continue to work and support there families, now had an opportunity to do so. We estimate that approximately 600 patients per year who would have otherwise been left with a permanent disability have now had high quality surgical treatment and a chance to return to a normal life. The additional benefit of this program, which will probably have the best long term benefit to patients in Malawi, is that provision of the implants has enabled two new orthopaedic surgeons to fully trained in modern surgical techniques. This has helped created the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons in Malawi.
Our Ethiopian project (Trauma Education in Ethiopia) has been running since 2016. Through this we support the development of a new Trauma Centre in the city of Hawassa in Southern Ethipia, as well as the national Ethiopian Orthopaedic training programme in Addis Ababa. In Ethiopia our work focuses on enhancing the personal and professional development of health care professionals caring for victims of trauma through a program of education and training. The Ethiopian government has rapidly increased number of doctors and nurses in the country, but there are very few people with knowledge and experience of trauma and orthopaedic surgery to provide training and education in this important field. By mentoring and supporting all staff groups we work with, we aim to deliver long term improvement in trauma care hence reducing the burden of trauma on patients in developing countries.
To deliver its goals NOTAA has already established strong working relationships with a number of organisations : AO Alliance Foundation (AOAF) (based in Switzerland), Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA), and Manchester University Medical School and we have identifed common goals and areas for collaboration.
It is envisaged these links will strengthen as NOTAA evolves. The long term goal is to establish an organisation that brings together and coordinates the widespread humanitarian experience and commitment already present within the North West Orthopaedic Community involving all staff groups.
NOTAA was set up in August 2016 and the current founder members of the Executive Committee are:
Tony Clayson, Wrightington Hospital – Chairman
Henry Wynn Jones, Wrightington Hospital
Rish Parmar, St Helens and Knowsley Hospital
Ashtin Doorgakant, SpR Orthopaedics, Northwest – Mersey
Simon Graham, SpR Orthopaedics, Northwest – Mersey
Kohila Sigamoney, SpR Orthopaedics, Northwest – Manchester
Debbi Wallis, Deputy Head Strategic Financial Planning, Bolton CCG
Liz Newton, NOTAA Administrator, Wrightington Hospital
Rebecca Lafferty, Fundraising Coordinator, Wrightington Hospital