The Burden of Orthopaedic Disease in Developing Countries

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The global burden of musculoskeletal disease in low and middle-income countries is large, growing, and neglected. While there is considerable funding for the control of communicable disease, there has been little attention paid to either the prevention or the treatment of orthopaedic problems in developing countries. “Safe Roads” was the theme for World Health Day 2004, and this paper examines the magnitude of injury in low and middle-income countries, as well as the motors powering its growth, and addresses the balance between the prevention and the treatment of injuries. Finally, it calls upon orthopaedic surgeons in developed countries to build partnerships with their colleagues in less developed countries to improve clinical care, teaching, and research aimed at reducing the global burden of injury.

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