PIOA agreement with AO Alliance Foundation

PIOA has signed a partnership agreement with the AO Alliance Foundation, which is the premier orthopaedic education foundation worldwide. This was only possible because of the tireless efforts of Dr. Herman Oberli, founding member of PIOA and a strong advocate for the improvement of the management of trauma in the Pacific Islands. We also wish to thank our generous sponsor, Hans Joerg Wyss, for his partnership in our work. This agreement means that PIOA has stable funding for the next 5 years and can continue to train orthopaedic surgeons from Pacific Island countries. PIOA is now the accepted leader for orthopaedic training in the Pacific Island countries.
From L to R: Suthorn Bavonratanavech, AO Foundation representative; Joachim Prein(Vice-Chair), Rolf Jeker(Chair), Jaime Quintero, Board Member. Standing: Dr. Hermann Oberli

Module 3, September 2016, Foot and ankle, Apia, Samoa

The “Foot and ankle” module was held at the TTM Hospital, Apia, Samoa, from 12 to 19 September 2016. This module covered history taking, clinical examination, and management of  foot and ankle conditions. You can read  the   Module 3 2016 report here.
From L to R Front row – Mark Rokobuli (Fiji),Felix Diaku (PNG), Areta Samuelu(Samoa),Stephen Kodvaru(Solomon Is), Kabiri Itaka (Kiribati),
Back row – George Kabwere(Solomon Is),  Shaun Mauiliu(Samoa), Naseri Aitaoto(American Samoa),  Alex Munamua(Solomon Is.)James Tewa’ani(Solomon Is.).
The course dinner: Special thanks to lecturers: Dr. Angus Moxon, Drr Nick Shortt, DR. Matt Hope, Dr. Hermann Oberli and Dr. Des Soares. At the dinner we were joined by Adele Mauiliu, Enid Samuelu, Elizabeth Oberli and Dr Magele (previous Minister of Education in Samoa- not in the photo

PIOA agreement with TTM Hospital, Apia, Samoa.

PIOA training Director held discussion with the National University of Samoa. The Dean of the Medical School Lemamea Dr. Limbo Fiu and Lecturer Dr. Dyxon Hansell are progressing discussions. It is hoped the National University of Samoa will accredit the PIOA training program as a Master of Surgery (Orthopaedics).
PIOA training Director signed a training agreement with Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea, covering Dr Shaun Mauiliu and Dr Areta Samuelu and any future trainees from TTM Hospital. This agreement is valid for a period of 5 years.

Module 2, June 2016, Spine

The “Orthopaedic Spine” module was held at the National Referral Hospital, Honiara, Solomon Islands, from 30 May 2016 to 8 June 2016. This module covered history taking, clinical examination, and management of  orthopaedic spinal conditions. In addition training on a Pacific Trauma database and a workshop on Infectious disease was held. You can read  the Module 2 2016 report  here.
From L to R Front row – Ian Cheung (Australia), Des Soares(Australia), Martin Walliser(Switzerand), Phillip Stillhard(Switzerland)
Middle row – Mark Rokobuli (Fiji), Kabiri Itaka (Kiribati), Felix Diaku (PNG), Areta Samuelu(Samoa), George Kabwere(Solomon Is)
Back row – Naseri Aitaoto(American Samoa), Stephen Kodvaru(Solomon Is, James Tewa’ani(Solomon islands)
Alex Munamua(Solomon islands), Shaun Mauiliu(Samoa)

Module 1, February 2016, Orthopaedic Trauma

The “Orthopaedic Trauma” module was held at the National Referral Hospital, Honiara, Solomon Islands, from 1 February to 10 February 2016. This module covered history taking, clinical examination, and management of  trauma. You can read the  Module 1, 2016 report  here.
From L to R
Dr. Vauhgan Poutawera(New Zealand), Areta Samuelu(Samoa), Felix Diaku(PNG)
From L to R
Front row – Jochen Ruckstuhl, Des Soares, Vaughan Poutawera, Gerold Lusser, Matthew Hope
Middle row – Basil Leodoro, James Tewa’ani, Felix Diaku, George Kabwere, Kabiri Itaka
Back row – Mark Rokobuli, Areta Samuelu, Alex Munamua, Naseri Aiotato, Stephen Kodovaru, Shaun Mauiliu

AOA ASM Brisbane October 2015

PIOA trainees Kabiri Itaka (Kiribati) and Areta Samuelu (Samoa) presented scientific papers at the Australian Orthopaedic Association Annual Scientific Meeting in Brisbane on 13 October 2015. Dr. Patrick Houasia, President PIOA presented  on the first three years of the PIOA training program and Dr Des Soares, Director of Training for PIOA  presented on preparation of a orthopaedic disaster plan for the Pacific Islands. .
You can view  the Kabiri Itaka presentation here.
You can view the Areta Samuelu presentation here.
You can view  the PIOA training AOA 2015 presentation here.
You can view  the Des Soares presentation here.
You can read a PIOA annual 2015  summary report for the 2015 training modules here.
 From L to R   Des Soares, Areta Samuelu (Samoa), Kabiri Itaka (Kiribati) and Patrick Houasia

Module 3, 2015 Upper limb

The “Upper limb” module was held at the National Referral Hospital, Honiara, Solomon Islands, from 30 September to 7 October 2015. This module covered history taking, clinical examination, and management of elective and traumatic conditions affecting the upper limb including shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. Click here to read  the Module 3 2015 report  on the Upper limb module.
Back row L to R –  Paul Hitchen, Stephen Quain, Des Soares
Front row L to R – Kabiri itaka, Mark Rokobuli, Stephen Kodovaru, James Tewa’ani, Areta Samuelu
Stephen Kodovaru and Mark Rokobuli doing a sawbones exercise for an adult T intercondylar fracture.

Module 2, 2015 Knee

The Knee module was held at the National Referral Hospital, Honiara, Solomon Islands, from 8 June to 17 June 2015. Click here to read the report on the June 2015 Knee module.
From L to R:  Kabiri Itaka (Kiribati), James Tewa’ani (Solomon Islands), Areta Samuelu (Samoa), Mark Rokobuli (Fiji)
Stephen Kodovaru (Solomon Islands) and Shaun Mauiliu (Samoa) with their sawbones ACL reconstruction.
PIOA students with Dr Patrick Houasia, President PIOA and  Director Orthopaedics (Solomon Islands)
and Prof. Nik Friederich, (Basle, Switzerland) with the VirtaMed ArthoS knee arthroscopy simulator


Dr. Basil Leodoro from Vanuatu has been the Medevac coordinator at Vila Central Hospital. Basil attended his first PIOA module in February. He requested additional assistance in the form of personnel and ex-fix equipment.
PIOA has been able to assist the staff at the Vila Central Hospital by sending Dr Stephen Kodovaru and operating theatre RN Mary Maneporaa from Solomon Islands. They stayed in Vila for 10 days to help with dealing with trauma following the cylcone.
Please click here to read a report on the PIOA Vanuatu relief trip by Stephen Kodovaru.
In addition Dr. Mark Rokobuli, one of our trainees from Fiji has been deployed with the Royal Fiji Military to assist in Vila.
PIOA was also able to coordinate and deliver ex-fix equipment donated by Stryker Orthopaedics, and Dot Dash (Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics) and some battery drills donated by Greenslopes Hospital.
Dr. Basil Leodoro reviewing a child who suffered burns while trying to help his family get rid of cyclone debris.
Dr. Trevor Culwick receiving ex-fix gear carried by PIOA (donated by Dot Dash, Stryker and Greenslopes Hospital)

Dr. Basil Leodoro co-ordinating Medevac flights for injured patients on the outer islands


Cyclone Pam affected people in Port Vila queuing for food rations.