29 November 2019
BSSH overseas work continues to develop driven by the Overseas Committee. I would like to personally thank my Committee members who have been ably supported by Roma Bhopal, BAHT representative and Alex Nicholls and Rebecca Nicholas, trainee representatives and BSSH Secretariat. Full details of the Committee and its work can be found in the overseas section of the website.
Achievements in 2019
During 2019 we will have supported 7 visits to low to middle income countries (LMIC’s) with 23 BSSH members delivering training to a total of over 475 surgeons and associated staff.
- April – delivered training in hand anatomy, assessment and hand trauma management (lectures, discussion groups and practical sessions) with four one day courses in three centres.
- September – Mike Waldram led multidisciplinary team to perform surgery and train hospital staff.
- September/October – 9 day visit to deliver 2 days COSECSA Hand Surgery Course, 2 day annual hand trauma training to Orthopaedic Clinical Officers and 2 days of training to hand therapists
- May – microsurgery training course delivered.
- March - Hand Trauma Course and cadaver course on upper limb approaches, flaps and tendon and nerve harvesting.
- May 2019 – delivered training in hand anatomy, assessment and hand trauma management to Medical officers and Orthopaedic Clinical Officers.
- May 2018 – delivered training in hand and wrist fracture management, congenital hand and spastic hand in conjunction with the Bangladesh Society for Surgery of the Hand.
During 2019 we did not deliver our annual orthoplastic training in Sudan due to the ongoing political instability making it unsafe. There will be no BSSH visit to Tanzania in 2019. The initial visit in December 2018 identified the need for a BFIRST delivered flap course in 2019 followed by a BSSH hand trauma visit in spring 2020
One of our major achievements in 2019 has been to consolidate the overseas teaching resource which is now in the members section of BSSH website. It covers the whole of the non-elective portion of the hand syllabus and is available to all BSSH members performing overseas work. Under the leadership of Wee Lam we have commenced monthly webinars using Zoom teleconferencing facilities. These are hosted by BSSH members and will cover the hand surgery syllabus over a 3 year cycle. They are proving very popular with surgeons from 15 different LMIC’s having joined to date.
We will have awarded 5 fellowships during 2019. Three UK trainees have been supported to join BSSH projects – David Bodansky to Ethiopia, David Izadi to Sierra Leone and ShanShan Jing to Malawi. Peter Mwandiga from our Tanzania project has been supported to travel to the UK to speak at our BSSH/BFIRST Educational Day in Edinburgh and then undergo two weeks as an observer in hand trauma at Salford.
Looking to 2020
We have exciting plans for next year with visits planned to all our project countries. Highlights include an invited 3 day contribution to the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) annual meeting in Abuja, Nigeria in February. This will involve delivering a two day hand trauma course to 120 delegates and BSSH faculty being guest speakers on the first day of the main conference. This will give us the opportunity to develop relationships with surgeons form the 16 WACS countries. Building on the projects in Malawi and Uganda we are in discussions to make a similar contribution to the Confederation of Surgical Societies of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). Our long term goal is to work with these two surgical organizations to develop an accredited Hand Diploma designed for surgeons in Africa.
We have the support of BSSH Council to strengthen trainee involvement by forming a BSSH Trainee Overseas Committee. This will be open to all BSSH Associate Members. In order to further support surgeons in our project countries we have opened up Associate Membership to them with the option of their membership fee to be sponsored by Full BSSH members and are starting fund raising to support their attendance at BSSH courses by developing a BSSH Global Education Fund. Full details including how members can be involved will be shared early in the New Year.
Finally I am pleased to announce that Jonathan Jones will take over as BSSH Overseas Committee Chair in January 2020. Jonathan has been a key driver of our overseas work for many years contributing massively to our projects in Malawi and Uganda. He knows that he will have my full support and I am confident will build on the excellent progress made over the last few years.
How to get involved
- Volunteer to join a visit to a project country (see grid with project lead details)
- Apply for a BSSH Overseas Trainee Fellowship open to BSSH Associate Members
- Volunteer to host a webinar
- Apply to join the BSSH Overseas Committee when the expression of interest is circulated in early 2020
- Suggest a new project country
Overseas Committee Chair
If you would like to get involved in the work of the overseas committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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