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SICOT e-Newsletter

Issue No. 34 - July 2011

Editorial by Cody Bünger, SICOT President

SICOT on the MOVE!

Universal Challenges in Orthopaedics

Musculoskeletal diseases and disability are a major societal burden worldwide affecting the lives of millions of people both in the developed and developing worlds. Every 30 seconds someone dies in a traffic accident and 20-30 million people worldwide are injured. Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death and disability of people under the age of 45. Trauma patients need organised triage, damage control and multidisciplinary involvement along with sub-acute total repair. At the same time, the population is aging and osteoporosis is becoming a major health issue resulting in fragility of the bones leading to vertebral fractures and hip fractures. Diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and cancer are frequent co-morbidities or primary diseases.

Orthopaedics Today

The orthopaedic specialty has developed into a number of subspecialties, which treat the various disabilities regionally and according to underlying conditions. The fact that orthopaedic treatments are now more advanced, less invasive and potentially durable, due to new medico-technological developments, has challenged the education system of orthopaedic surgeons worldwide. The epidemiology of orthopaedics varies immensely among locations, countries, economic developments, and in the presence of wars, conflicts and natural disasters, and calls for international collaboration as indicated by WHO and BJD projects.

The SICOT Initiatives

SICOT, being the only global Orthopaedic Society with members from 113 countries, has had to adapt to the increasing challenges of global violence and financial crises. We realised the vulnerability and limitations of orthopaedic associations based on voluntary membership, work, and also the shortcomings of our national delegates and committees structure. However, based on a number of strategic initiatives approved by the International Council in 2009 and a subsequent SWOT analysis followed by immense enthusiasm and hard work among the SICOT Executive Committee, our members, as well as collaborating societies, we aimed at a strengthened SICOT and a framework for future development:

  • Collaboration with National and International Societies on major global problems.
    Friendship Nations programme (India in 2009, Japan in 2010, China and Russian speaking countries in 2011, and PAOA member countries in 2012) and combined meetings (RCOST in 2009, SOF in 2010, PAOA in 2012, and SBOT in 2014).
  • Introduction of subspecialised SICOT sections, including a research and development section, chaired by leading specialists, to catch the important new developments and advances in treatment.
  • Modernisation of the business structure and SICOT membership, with strict budgeting and financial control.
  • Inauguration of SICOT Education Centres in Assiut (Egypt) and at MONIKI in Moscow (Russia) with plans for other centres in Nigeria, India and China.
  • New SICOT teaching such as electronic learning, fellowships, and the “SICOT meets SICOT” Training Programme.
  • Focus on the professional recognition of Orthopaedics and Traumatology by evidence based teaching and debates during our congresses.

The Future Milestones of SICOT

A continuum of adaptation and internal reviews is needed to match the busy and multifaceted functions of SICOT. Our main milestones shall include young surgeons’ education, outreach programmes, international research and development of orthopaedics, and the continuous identification of evidence-based treatment guidelines. As a prerequisite for long-term power, we must have financial balance. It all calls for professionalism, unity, passion, and creativity.