In August 2014 the 10 member Outreach supported Upper Limb Team carried out more than 100 patients evaluations at the National Paediatric Hospital, Children’s Surgical Center, Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE, Kossamak Hospital and the Preah Ket Milea (Military) Hospital. Working with our Cambodian counterparts, with a focus on training and technology transfer, 35 operations were carried out, ranging from relatively simple finger releases, through uncorrected congenital deformities to complex Brachial Plexus reconstructive operations and a successful free tissue transfer for a patient who had already had a number of failed advanced surgeries.
The team provided two afternoons of lectures at the University of Health Sciences (UHS), teaching the national cohort of surgeons in training. A meeting with the Vice Dean of the UHS confirmed an invitation to assist in 2015 with undergraduate Orthopaedic education.
Senior Hand Therapists, Dr. Anne Wajon PhD, and Cathy Merry, extended the work with focused evaluation and specific therapy along with engaging he local therapists in technical development. Additional training in administration and HR evaluation was carried out at one of the partner hospitals (SHCH) and a site evaluation visit to a facility in Kampot where future mission trips may also be engaged.
The team continued the tradition of strong teamwork, solid and new friendship development, a spread of seniority and experience with a commitment to providing high quality surgical care to those in need with a priority placed on technology transfer and skills training. More than 500 hours of active volunteer time commitment contributed to the success of the program.
2015 sees the continued patient care and teaching at our partner hospitals, contribution to the National Surgical Conference, a week of Orthopaedic instruction at UHS, continued education of the national cohort of surgeon trainees, establishment of rotating surgical support for the Sonia Kill Hospital, Kampot and a skills workshop for senior Orthopaedic surgeons.
The Upper Limb Team is indebted to Outreach for the support and the encouragement to continue this work.