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A joint BFIRST/BSSH project to setup the inaugural Orthoplastic hand trauma workshop in 2018, with didactic lectures, live patient clinical discussions and cadaveric dissection.


What’s the need?

Ethiopia has a population of 100 million (Addis Ababa 5 million).  Construction and machining-based hand injuries make up a significant component of the trauma workload, estimated to be 70% of the hospital’s work.  Most ‘routine’ hand trauma managed in the main orthopaedic hospitals with more complex trauma referred to the Plastic & Reconstructive surgery department in ALERT hospital.

BFIRST and BSSH had been approached by WOC (World Orthopaedic Concern) to suggest the development of an orthoplastic hand surgery educational programme due to WOCs involvement with Black Lion Hospital which is the main teaching hospital in Addis and the biggest orthopaedic unit in the country.


Previous Visits

Previous visits include an initial visit with adhoc teaching around 4 hospitals in the city (Black Lion, Yekatit 12, CURE and ALERT in 2017; followed by the inaugural Hand Surgery Cadaveric Workshop, hosted by ALERT Hospital and co-organised by Dr Abraham Gegziabher and Neil Cahoon, with faculty members Rupert Eckersley, Henk Giele and Orthopaedic trainee David Bodansky.


Future Plans

Due to COVID restrictions and a period of civil unrest, we are planning the next hand course late 2022/early 2023, and would welcome another orthopaedic or plastic trainee to accompany us on the visit.


Neil Cahoon
Consultant Plastic & Hand Surgeon
NHS Lothian



Neil Cahoon

Abraham Gebreegziabher MD FCS-ECSA.
Head of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery Unit, ALERT Centre, Addis Ababa.