News Line

Monday, June 9, 2014 - Temple Orthopaedic Surgeon Travels to a Still-Recovering Haiti
Saqib Rehman, MD, Director of Orthopaedic Trauma at Temple University Hospital, recently returned from his second visit to the island of Haiti – which remains the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and is still rebuilding from the devastating earthquake of 2010. A scarcity of orthopaedic surgeons, extremely limited training resources, and a massive surge of orthopaedic injuries from the earthquake continue to make orthopaedic care particularly challenging in Haiti.

"The world medical community was very well-intentioned and certainly helped many Haitians when responding to the initial disaster, but the humanitarian disaster still remains," said Dr. Rehman. "The complex problem which I have focused on is in trying to support the orthopaedic surgeons in Haiti who are left to take care of all the 'damage control' surgery that was done after the earthquake in addition to the overwhelming burden of everyday trauma and fractures."

Another unfortunate problem that Dr. Rehman is trying to assist with is proper organization, storage and distribution of the complex assortment of bone fixation implants and instruments that have been donated but remain in disorganized piles in the corners of hospitals, rendered essentially useless.

Dr. Rehman, who officially traveled as a representative from the Foundation for Orthopaedic Trauma, hopes that his position as Chairman of the Humanitarian Committee of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association will help him facilitate continued support for his colleagues in Haiti, including education, skills training, technical support and direct patient care.

"It truly puts things in perspective when you see what our Haitian colleagues are doing with extremely limited resources and training," he said. "It's hard not to try and help them in any meaningful way we can."