August 2003 Bulletin


AAOS donates books, CDs to Cairo training institute

By Carolyn Rogers

Through Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere), the AAOS recently contributed a subscription to Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and nearly $5,000 in books and CD-ROMs to the newly constructed National Training Institute (NTI) Cairo, Egypt.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) designed, built and equipped the large-scale, state-of-the-art health education facility in response to the overwhelming need for health sector reform in Egypt. The institute is Egypt's primary source for innovative training and continuing education for health care professionals in the region. NTI is eventually targeted to become the premier health care education and management-training center in the Middle East as well as the North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Project HOPE offers aid

Upon the center's completion last year, the MOHP turned to Project HOPE for assistance in two crucial areas of the facility's development: training/education program development, and facilities operations/management.

Project HOPE conducted an assessment to determine the training needs of health care professionals in Egypt and to develop an implementation and long-term utilization plan for NTI Cairo. Their assessment report cited several priorities for the center, including:

The institute, which opened its doors in October 2002, houses eight fully-equipped classrooms, two computer laboratories, a 300-seat auditorium, a three-level library/resource center and 14 multi-specialty simulation- training labs, including an orthopaedic training lab. The orthopaedic lab is equipped with various surgical simulators, including arthroscopic models (knee, shoulder, ankle and elbow) and all the necessary equipment such as scopes and a television system.

Project HOPE is currently providing management expertise, experience and assistance to train the institute's management and operational staff. With the support of Pfizer, Inc., management consultants are now serving as mentors for MOHP-hired counterparts in order to ensure the successful operation of the facility for the long-term. In addition, Project HOPE is helping NTI to implement innovative continuing education programs for health professionals and managers.

Training courses

Since its first training course in November 2002, more than 200 health professionals have participated in classes at NTI. Those classes included two emergency courses for physicians and a hospital management course that attracted senior level managers from many prominent hospitals in the Greater Cairo area. NTI instructors also were involved in, and designed educational materials for, a medical research course.

Future courses are scheduled on a regular basis and include additional emergency courses, nurse training, pedagogy courses for health education professionals and a medical terminology and anatomy course targeting medical librarians.

Library grows

Project HOPE's comprehensive educational program includes making the institute's library a major component to the existing medical network around the globe. Under their guidance, NTI staff has been busy coordinating educational activities and forging relationships with organizations, such as the AAOS, to strengthen its library services.

NTI staff also has made considerable progress in advancing the library's worldwide reputation. In one of the most prominent agreements, the institute joined the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Virtual Medical Library" program, which allows NTI to exchange journal articles with a consortium of 12 to 15 medical libraries in the Eastern Mediterranean region at no cost; WHO provides the scanner and software needed to participate.

As activities at the center are broadened, Project HOPE will continue to provide training and development in an effort to help the people of Egypt learn to help themselves–efficiently and effectively–for the long-term.

Possible AAOS/NTI partnership?

Aside from furthering the Academy's educational mission, the donation to NTI also may lead to a future educational partnership between AAOS and the institute, says Lynne Dowling, director of the AAOS international department.

"NTI Cairo has expressed an interest in opening a dialogue about the possibility of a partnership to bring live, on-site orthopaedic education programs to the institute," she reports.

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