October 2000 Bulletin

Orthopaedics Overseas opens program in Cambodia

Orthopaedics Overseas has recently opened a new program at the Sihanouk Hospital Center for HOPE in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The small country in Southeast Asia, has been in a prolonged period of turmoil and strife. Millions of people were killed under the Pol Pot reign of terror in the 1970s. Today the legacy of this turmoil remains in the form of millions of land mines found throughout the countryside.

The Sihanouk Hospital is focused on adult medical care and is the only free adult care facility in the city. The hospital has an 11-bed medical ward, an 11-bed surgical ward, two operating rooms, as well as on-site radiology and laboratory facilities. This hospital performs most of the amputation stump revisions procedures in the city of Phnom Penh. The caseload includes approximately 70 surgeries per month with 250 outpatients seen daily.

The Hospital Director is Graham Gumley, MD, an orthopaedic hand and microsurgeon, formerly of the Lahey Clinic in Boston. Other members of the teaching team are a general surgeon from the United Kingdom and an orthopaedic surgeon from the Philippines.

Orthopaedic Overseas’ volunteers will be involved in teaching more than 20 Cambodian doctors who receive classroom instruction one-half day a week as well as hands-on instruction in patient evaluation and surgical care. Lectures cover basic medical science applied to real patient cases, diagnostic skills and current treatment In addition, the team will deliver care to a patient population that is undernourished, immunologically compromised and often poorly compliant due to distance, poor education and chronic illness.

Due to complexity of the conditions evaluated and treated, volunteers must be board-certified or board-eligible orthopaedic surgeons. Volunteers with experience in amputation care, internal fixation and the ability to function with limited diagnostic and treatment resources are needed. Some experience with correction of polio deformities and foot and ankle surgery is desirable. Housing is provided on the hospital grounds.

For more information on this program, call the Orthopaedics Overseas office at 202-296-0928 or visit their web site.

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