BOSAD study team undertook their annual research review meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

(Reposted from AO Alliance website)

In the heart of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a conference room buzzed with anticipation as Ethiopian trauma and orthopedic surgeons and stakeholders gathered for the BOne Setting Associated Disability (BOSAD) study review meeting. Representatives from eight host tertiary hospitals across the country, the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), Ethiopian Society of Orthopedic and Traumatology (ESOT) came together to discuss the progress, challenges, and way forward in their mission to prevent musculoskeletal disability caused by traditional bone setting.

Dr Ephrem Gebrehana and Dr Mengistu Gebreyohanes, both from Hawassa, and the driving forces behind the BOSAD study, took the stage to open the meeting.

“Good morning, esteemed colleagues,” they began, their voices resonating with passion. “Today we gathered not only as medical professionals, but as pioneers in a movement to change lives. Our journey with BOSAD has been remarkable, and it’s time to reflect on our achievements and chart the course for the future.” Following this, a welcoming speech was delivered by Dr Geletaw Tessema, ESOT President, and the review meeting was officially opened.

The meeting unfolded with presentations detailing the unfortunate high rate of complications associated with traditional bone setting treatments. Surgeons shared their experiences and described the challenges they faced.

Dr Mengistu then introduced representatives from the Ministry of Health and Ethiopian Public Health Association, who expressed their support for the initiative. During the meeting the traditional medicine desk from minister of health was represented with its delegate.

As discussions continued, participants looked at strategies for expanding BOSAD to reach primary caregivers, teachers, parents and children. They explored potential partnerships with international organisations, increased public awareness campaigns, and the integration of BOSAD techniques into the wider health system.

A key highlight was the launch of both printed materials and an online application to provide basic knowledge about unintentional fall, prevention strategies and pre-hospital management package for school children which was organized in 12 headings, available in five Ethiopian languages. This initiative aims to decentralise expertise and ensure that even remote regions can benefit from this life-changing information. The meeting ended with a renewed sense of purpose and a collective commitment to expand BOSAD’s impact. Surgeons left the conference hall inspired and ready to return to their respective locations and implement the strategies discussed.

The BOSAD study has expanded its reach, breaking new ground in previously underserved rural areas. Through joint efforts, surgeons, public health experts and Ministry of Health stakeholderss will work together to make BOSAD an integral part of Ethiopia’s healthcare landscape, significantly reducing the disability associated with traditional bone setting and empowering the injured to lead healthier and, more active lives.

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