Collaborative projects with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons continued as a co-branded team formed from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Western Health, Victoria to visit the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital in Apia, Samoa. Local in-country surgeons host visiting teams to their country almost every week throughout the year, with this Orthopaedic surgical team focusing on surgical skills training for ACL repair and reconstruction. Stryker South Pacific generously supported the inclusion of training registrar, AOA trainee Dr Emma Lewis, to broaden the appreciation of skills and resources available in first world orthopaedics.
The incidence of club foot in the Western Pacific is among the highest of any populations globally. Early detection and strategies for management are crucial to ensure corrective techniques are undertaken through engaging with a Ponseti program. Local leaders Dr Tala Ta’avao and Dr Areta Samuelu have recognised this and welcomed refresher training courses ensuring local clinicians have access to experienced Ponseti practitioners to update their skills and revise techniques. The success of these programs allows for local control of club foot assessment and management within a short timeline, promoting local capacity building and confidence within their local systems.