"Orthopaedic care in rural areas like Shirati is limitedly available, so fracture patients often seek out the help of ‘bonesetters’: traditional healers that treat fractures through splinting and massage. Patients with simple fracture are generally treated adequately and at a cheap price, and are often satisfied with this mode of treatment. Complex or open fractures (with a wound), however, require surgery; a service that bonesetters can’t provide. It’s this group of patients that often presents at a late stage with complications, like badly healed bones, or severe infections. Bonesetters are often well aware of their limitations, but don't have little access to pain medication, X-ray imaging or sterile equipment.
To combine the best of both worlds, we are conducting a pilot study to assess the efficacy of a collaborative triage & treatment protocol with three bonesetters, the general principles being: bonesetter treatment for patients with simple fractures, hospital treatment for patients with complex fractures, and adequate pain management and X-ray imaging for all. To contribute or learn more about the bonesetter project, please visit our webpage: https://stichtingshirati.nl/bonesetter-project/?lang=en"