Poor investment in orthopaedic services worries association


Malawi Orthopaedic Association (MOA) has called on government and stakeholders to invest more resources towards orthopaedic services, saying the country has only 14 orthopaedic surgeons but there is need to increase the number of surgeons to 100.

This is according to president of the association Moreen Sabawo who was speaking in Blantyre last week during the association’s launch of partnership with other orthopaedic project partners.

Sabawo said the country is witnessing rising cases of road accidents on daily basis which she said requires more investments in the orthopaedic services for quality health care service provision.

She added that there is need for government and stakeholders in the country to come together and help in improving service delivery by investing more resources.

“Poor investments in infrastructure, capacity building and finances is hindering our efforts to provide quality orthopaedic services. This is very worrisome indeed because it contributes to overburdening traumatic cases,” said Sabawo.

The MOA president has argued that the poor service delivery is as a result of insufficient orthopaedic officers.

She reported that currently Malawi has only 14 orthopaedic surgeons and 117 orthopaedic clinical officers which she said is far beyond the required number of officers to match Malawi’s population of 20 million people.

“This is not recommended. We need at least 100 surgeons to properly help eliminate the burden cases of trauma in the country,” worried Sabawo.

Sabawo then mentioned failure to follow traffic rules and regulations by motorcycle operators as one of the contributing factors to an increase in road accident.

She concluded by describing the partnership as a step in a right direction towards efficiency in the orthopaedic sector.

AO Alliance Managing Director Claude Martin, said the country need a huge investment in orthopaedic services to ensure quality services.

Martin said despite the partnership’s efforts to reduce the cases since 2015, the number of injuries from road accidents has increased by 50 percent country wide.

“Malawi need to do more to address the issue of injuries from road accidents most especially on kabaza operators. As partners, we have limited resources to support, hence calling for a collective effort by all stakeholders,” said Martin.

In an effort to reduce the burden, Martin said AO Alliance will continue providing leadership trainings and support infrastructure developments in district hospitals and health centres.

He said so far, they have managed to increase the number of surgeons from 4 to 14, refurbish and built new operational rooms which he said can be increased further if there is collective efforts.

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