June 7, 2013 — International delegates came together as World Spine Care (WSC) held its first health conference in Mahalapye, Botswana in April. Founder Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, PhD; Clinical Director Geoff Outerbridge, DC, MSc; Vice President Margareta Nordin, Dr. Med. Sci., PT, CIE; staff and supporters of WSC were joined by more than 105 delegates from among health professions and government organizations in a daylong conference that marked the first for the organization and perhaps the largest of its kind in the history of Botswana.
Dr. Shenaaz El-Halabi, deputy permanent secretary to the Government of Botswana opened the conference and was followed by Dr. Kunal Bose, superintendent of the Mahalapye District Hospital, and a video statement by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and member of WSC’s advisory council.
During the conference, leading authorities from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia, and South Africa shared reports of findings from research undertaken by WSC and lectured on the current evidence based approach to people with spinal disorders. The speakers presented a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that included screening for serious disease, diagnosis and both non-surgical and surgical options.
In addition to their presentations, the surgical team assessed the facilities in nearby hospitals. The team consisted of Dr. Christian Etter, past president and founder of the Swiss Spine Institute; Dr. Emre Acaroglu, chief of orthopaedic spine care with Turkey’s Ankara Spine Center; Dr. Norman Fisher-Jeffes, past president of the Society of Neurosurgeons of South Africa; Dr. Lindsey Rowe, associate professor in radiology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle and Adjunct Professor, Northwestern Health Sciences University and Murdoch University.
WSC is a not-for-profit, charitable organization conceived by Haldeman as a means of filling the profound gap in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions found in underserved areas of the world.
“Spinal disorders encompass a wide spectrum of disease, including infection, metabolic disorders, degenerative disease, and some cancers as well as the almost universal back and neck pain which can be devastating to a subsistence farmer or any individual whose livelihood depends on a healthy, functioning spine,” says Haldeman.
Since founding the organization, Haldeman has attracted the support and assistance of healthcare leaders from all over the world and has opened two clinics in Botswana and prepared a third in the Ranthambhore area of Eastern Rajasthan, India. Additional clinics are being considered in Tanzania and the Dominican Republic.
Source: World Spine Care, worldspinecare.com