There are >5 million deaths per year from traumatic injuries, accounting for 11% of the current global burden of disease1. By the end of 2021, traumatic injuries were expected to be the third-leading cause of death worldwide, with nearly twice the number of fatalities that result from HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome), tuberculosis, and malaria combined1. They occur at a disproportionately higher rate in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), in which 90% of injuries and 83% of global deaths occur2-4. For every injury-related death, up to 50 additional people sustain disabilities, resulting in a loss of >220 million disability-adjusted life years annually2,5. Epidemiological research has reported that nearly 1% of the population in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) suffer from some form of injury-related disability6,7. Musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries account for the majority of these injuries. More than 130 million individuals worldwide sustain fractures per year, and 78% of injury-related disabilities are the result of an MSK extremity injury2.
Currently, although there is the obvious substantial burden of death and disability from MSK injuries, there has been little policy, research, and funding invested in addressing this distinctly overlooked problem. Additionally, the evidence underpinning the management of MSK injuries across SSA is poor and is almost exclusively based on evidence from high-income countries, where the resources, health-care training, infrastructure, and presentation of MSK injuries are very different.
One of the challenges faced by surgeons and practitioners wishing to undertake clinical research in SSA is access to funding for high-quality research. The challenge faced by funding institutions is how to identify the priority research questions with the greatest need of funding. Because potential research is often sufficiently disparate, important clinical research ideas may never be disseminated from practitioners to funders.
The Orthopaedic Research Collaboration in Africa (ORCA) in partnership with a nongovernmental organization, the AO Alliance (https://ao-alliance.org), is a collaboration that is dedicated to improving MSK health care via research throughout SSA. It comprises surgeons, researchers, nongovernmental organizations, and policymakers from across SSA, the United Kingdom, and the United States with an interest and expertise in MSK trauma-care research. A key goal of the group is to determine the research priorities of orthopaedic surgeons and other health- care practitioners in SSA in order to set the agenda for studies in MSK trauma care throughout SSA that can be presented to funders. This paper describes the methodology that was used in our research and reports the priorities that were identified.
Abstract for 'Identifying Research Priorities in Musculoskeletal Trauma Care in Sub-Saharan Africa'
Publication: JBJS Open Access. Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Date: Mar 28, 2022.
Copyright © 2022, Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.
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