AO Principles Course in Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea was the venue for a course organized by the Socio Economic Committee.

16 January 2007

Practical exercises conducted in Port Moresby

A three day long AO Principles of Operative Fracture Treatment Course wasconducted in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in late September 2006. The CourseChairman was John Croser from Australia and he was ably supported by four otherfaculty members from Australia as well as the Local Chairman Victor Golpak. Itwas a sort of homecoming for John Croser who lived in Papua New Guinea for sometime in the 1960s.

Grant Booth giving a lecture

This course was organized by the SocioEconomic Committee (SEC) of the AO Foundation. The presence of so manysurgeons from Perth in Australia was made possible through the use of fundsgranted by AusAID—the Australiangovernment’s overseas aid program that aims to reduce poverty in less developedcountries.


In order to tailor the course to suit surgical conditions in Papua NewGuinea, non-operative treatment was included in the lectures and discussions,and operative treatment was centered around the correct use of plate and screwsalong with external fixators. The practical exercises followed a similarpattern.

Informal interaction during the practical exercises

Due to the unfortunate late arrival of baggage containing the DVDs of thepractical exercises, faculty members were forced to improvise by outliningexercises on a whiteboard with diagrams and then concluding with a writtensummary of the steps taken. Interestingly enough, this list was frequentlyreferred to during the exercises, and some of the faculty members that werepresent now intend to use a one slide summary of steps taken in futurepractical exercises. The discussion sessions were tackled with enthusiasm andthe ensuing discussion was lively.

Some of the faculty members showing off their locally made gifts

It was apparent at the conclusion of the course that there is a significantneed for courses on non-operative management of fractures. Overall the coursewas deemed a success by all involved because of the volume of informationprovided and repeatedly tested for assimilation. The faculty certainly gainedan overview of the extent of the problems in Papua New Guinea and theparticipants were given a great introduction to the AO Principles of OperativeFracture Treatment.



Cover of the Papua New Guinea course program

It is hoped that the insights gained through conducting this course willhelp the SEC to customize the services it will provide to Papua New Guinea inthe future.

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