The high incidence of injury in Mongolia coupled with the lack of available orthopedic treatment creates a situation of unnecessary disability and poverty among Mongolia’s population. Orthopedic injuries are common in Mongolia primarily due to horseback riding, car accidents, and mining injuries.
Mongolia has only two state hospitals with the ability to perform orthopedic surgeries, to serve nearly 3 million people in a geographic area the size of Alaska. Both hospitals are located in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Patients from rural areas suffering painful orthopedic injuries face a long, uncomfortable trip to get to Ulaanbaatar for possible treatment. The logistics and expenses involved in this journey make it an improbable reality for many rural Mongolians. For those fortunate enough to receive treatment, it may be days or weeks after the initial injury, thereby requiring more extensive, expensive, and complicated care.
With support from international surgical teams, FIRE has been helping to improve the quality of trauma surgery and neurosurgery through capacity development for physicians since 2008. By working with local hospitals in Ulaanbaabatar, FIRE is helping to improve care on all levels, raising standards and efficiency while also providing surgery for those most in need.