In 2007, Drs. Peter O’Brien, Piotr Blachut and Trevor Stone, three orthopaedic surgeons from the UBC Department of Orthopaedics, were invited to visit Uganda to investigate the emerging health crisis of traumatic injuries. A year later, the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Makerere University established a formal partnership call the Uganda Sustainable Trauma Orthopaedic Program (USTOP) to reduce the human suffering, disability and poverty caused by traumatic injuries in Uganda.
Mulago Hospital is the national referral and training hospital for Uganda, a country of over 36 million people. As one of only two orthopaedic training centres in East Africa, the hospital receives a huge number of severely injured people of poor economic status. Untreated injuries can have a devastating long-term effect on the individual and their families. USTOP aligns with the mandate of our Ugandan colleagues in the Ministry of Health, Makerere University and Mulago Hospital to improve the education of surgical trainees, nurses and paramedical personnel in the care of individuals with traumatic injury, from entry to full rehabilitation.