Orthopaedics Without Borders (OWB) was founded in 2012 on the initiative of orthopaedic surgeons Prof. Dubrana (Head of Orthopaedics Service at the CHU of Brest – France) and Doctor Berthelet (CHG of Bastia – France). Medacta for Life Foundation has been supporting OWB as part of My Mission projects, based on the goodness and far-reaching strength of its purpose.
Since 2020 and following the missions in Laos, Medacta for Life Foundation and My Mission have offered OWB financial support and medical devices (hip and knee prosthesis) for the missions in Madagascar and Cambodia on a four-year agreement. Professors Dubrana, Berthelet and De Polignac, involved in OWB missions on the front line, share with us in their 2023 mission report that total hip arthroplasty (THA) has been voted by the World Health Organization as “20th century’s surgical intervention”. The medical goals of the above-mentioned operation are simple: mobility and relief for patients. This is a high-tech orthopaedic surgery, which is not currently practiced in emerging countries due to the high risk of infection that could lead to permanent disability. To effectively avoid the risk of infection, which could compromise the possibility to perform the operation, checking and implementing surgical procedure is pivotal, but first and foremost it is crucial that the entire chain of care is improved. OWB’s goal is to create a permanent structure to allow surgical procedures with a high risk of infection and/or technology, analysing the risks and applying recommendations from the European scientific society. OWB’s structure and actions show that medical expertise turns towards disadvantaged patients, African or Asian, thus reconciling care for others and specialist competencies.
Through My Mission, Medacta for Life Foundation has committed to provide funding for missions over the four-year period 2020-2024, as well as providing the required prosthesis for four missions per year (forecast). In addition to the Foundation’s contribution, the part of the costs discovered is borne by the mission’s doctors and other partners.
If on one hand the pandemic slowed down the program, from the beginning of 2023 the local missions resumed full speed, with many hip and knee surgeries performed. Two missions in Cambodia (Dr Berthelet and Pr Dubrana) and one mission in Madagascar (Pr Dubrana) are confirmed in OWB’s 2023 report, as a continuation of 2021 and 2022 missions; Dr. De Polignac and Prof. Dubrana are already taking part to the first mission in Laos for 2024.
With regards to the operations performed, including those occurred in Laos, the OWB doctors certify that 90% of the operations were conducted by local Malagasy surgeons in Madagascar: this is an excellent result which will hopefully consolidate over the years, confirming the very high and precious educational contribution of the initiative.
Medacta for Life Foundation and Medacta International (through the supply of prosthesis) therefore confirm their support to OWB in the near future: a support that we deeply feel for less fortunate patients and for professionals who put their expertise and humanity at the service of others.