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Bone and joint diseases are the most common cause of physical disability: IOA

August 7, 2012

Bone and joint diseases are the most common cause of physical disability in the world, especially the developing world, as about 10 per cent of the population have a bone and joint problem, according to Dr S Rajasekaran, president, Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA). He was speaking at a function organised on Saturday at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre here to celebrate the 1st Bone and Joint Day.

(From Left to Right) S Gandhiselvan, the union minister of state for health and family welfare; Dr S Rajasekaran, president, Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA); Justice P Sathasivam, judge, Supreme Court; and Rameshwari Handa, chief postmaster general, Delhi Circle, India Post. Handa released the Special Postal Cover on Bone and Joint Day, August 4, 2012.

Emphasising the need to create awareness about bone and joint diseases, Dr Rajasekaran said these diseases affect all age groups — from the newborn to the very elderly. They comprise of all forms of diseases — birth defects, nutritional problems, growth disorders, accidents and trauma, arthritis, infections and tumours.

(From Left to Right) Dr S Rajasekaran, president, Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA); Dr Rajesh Malhotra, co-ordinator, Bone and Joint Day; Dr Sudhir K Kapoor, honorary secretary, IOA and S Gandhiselvan, the union minister of state for health and family welfare

Talking about a major initiative undertaken by IOA on the eve of the 1st Bone and Joint Day, Dr Rajasekaran said IOA members pledged to operate 10,000 bone and joint surgeries for free during a period of one month (July 4 – August 4, 2012). Each member of the IOA, which currently includes more than 8,000 life members, pledged to conduct at least one surgery for free. “We also pledged that let it be not a minor surgery but the one which shows our expertise,” he said.

As a part of this initiative, the IOA members have already conducted over 3,750 surgeries in the last one-month. Among the Indian states, Madhya Pradesh stands highest with 812 free surgeries. “This figure is till three days ago. There are three days still left and so this number is expected to be much more as we expect maximum number of free surgeries in these three days. The actual number of free surgeries will emerge by Monday,” Dr Rajasekaran said, adding, “The total cost of these (3,750) free surgeries already exceeds Rs 12.5 crore.”

Making a special mention of the Palakkad Orthopaedic Club, Dr Rajasekaran said the members of this club screened entire two remote villages, identified 38 people with deformities and a team of seven surgeons corrected all these 38 deformities for free. He also mentioned about Dr Gaur Gautam Kar of Kishanganj in Bihar, Dr Challa Bulli Reddy of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and Dr Saumyajit Basu of Kolkata in West Bengal, all of whom did one major orthopaedic surgery for free.

Justice P Sathasivam addressing the delegates.

According to the IOA president, the association decided to celebrate August 4, as the Bone and Joint Day, since it was on this day when the IOA Charter was signed 57 years ago. To celebrate the 1st Bone and Joint Day, the association conducted a number of activities to enhance the knowledge and skills of its mid-level surgeons.

As a part of this initiative, over 150 short and long term fellowships were sponsored in centres of excellence; speciality training programmes in the fields of trauma, spinal surgery, paediatric orthopaedics, tumour surgery and arthroscopy were conducted; 75 hands-on cadaver and bone model training fellowships in joint replacement surgery were sponsored and free online access to international journals for all IOA members was provided, Dr Rajasekaran informed.

Highlighting the menace of rash driving and its unfortunate consequences, Dr Rajasekaran said India accounts for about 10 per cent of total road accidents worldwide. It is estimated that about 1,42,000 people died in road accidents in India in 2010, which means one person dies every 5-6 minutes on the Indian roads. In 10 years, it is expected to reach one death every 3 minutes.

“IOA will like to focus on the not at fault victims of road accidents and appeal the government to get involved in the retrieval, resuscitation, treatment, rehabilitation, social security and family welfare of these victims,” Dr Rajasekaran said.

S Gandhiselvan

On the role of insurance companies in compensating the road accident victims, Dr Rajasekaran said the action needed to be taken on day 1. Currently, the action is not taken on day 1 of the incident.

Speaking on the occasion Justice P Sathasivam of the Supreme Court said, “IOA is a vibrant organization and I salute all the doctors for their free surgery scheme.” He further said, “Let’s hope it’s not a one-time effort but an annual affair.” He also said that even other doctors should follow this and do at least one free surgery.

Justice Sathasivam also stressed on the need for creating awareness of road safety measures, respecting the right of fellow citizens and effective enforcement of road safety rules. He also urged the government to do suitable amendment in concerned laws so as to stipulate a provision for minimum fine and punishment for rash driving and death. According to Justice Sathasivam, currently there is provision for only maximum punishment for rash driving and death.

S Gandhiselvan, the union minister of state for health and family welfare, also appreciated various activities of IOA, especially its free surgery scheme.

To mark the occasion, Rameshwari Handa, the chief postmaster general, released a Special Postal Cover for Bone and Joint Day.

Dr Sudhir K Kapoor, honorary secretary, IOA and Dr Rajesh Malhotra, co-ordinator, Bone and Joint Day also spoke on the occasion.

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Categories: Public Health
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