Local hero Tony Clayson, an active member of Worsley Rotary, is being honoured with the prestigious Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Champions of Change award for his outstanding volunteering and mentoring work in Ethiopia

Trauma is currently a major cause of death and disability in Africa with ever increasing road traffic development and building programmes but little education in road safety. Poor outcomes and sometimes amputations are common as medical teams do not always understand fully how best to treat severe injuries and sterility of all instruments used has been almost non-existent so the chance of secondary infection following surgery has been very high.

Tony is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who works at Wrightington Specialist Orthopaedic Hospital and the Manchester Major Trauma Centre at Salford Royal Hospital. His overseas work, in establishing and leading the ‘Developing Sustainable Orthopaedic Trauma Services in Africa’ project supported by Rotary, has changed the lives of the medical and nursing staff in Hawassa Hospital, Southern Ethiopia through training and as a result has saved the lives of many patients and improved outcomes following surgery.

He has led teams of surgeons, physiotherapists and critical care staff from the UK and Perth, Australia to Hawassa in Southern Ethiopia. They have made four visits over the past 18 months and have taken instruments and other essential equipment enabling them to perform operations whilst training and mentoring hospital staff including surgeons, anaesthetists and nursing staff in all aspects of trauma care. The accompanying UK NHS staff members have benefitted by working in conditions far removed from their normal environment and broadening their own individual skill levels and the collaborative working of all team members will continue to result in significant sustainable change in Ethiopian trauma services

In just under two years, over 2,500 major operations have been carried out locally in this newly established trauma unit in Hawassa. The project is backed by Worsley Rotary and World Orthopaedic Concern UK and has resulted in the establishment of a new charity NOTAA, the Northwest Orthopaedic and Trauma Alliance for Africa which envisages staff from trauma units across Northwest England getting involved as the project continues.

Tony will receive his Champions of Change award, with other Rotary heroes from across the country, at a ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff in Cardiff City Hall in May in this year. The Cardiff location is significant as 2018 marks 100 years of Rotary in Wales.

The search for champions was carried out across Rotary’s vibrant network of nearly 2,000 clubs and 50,000 members, revealing endeavors ranging from supporting armed forces veterans with mental health issues to helping vulnerable street children in Swaziland.

Denis Spiller, President of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, commented: “The selfless and truly life-changing impact of our champions really demonstrate that we all make a difference. With Rotary, it just takes an idea and, with the help of our highly connected organisation, that idea becomes a reality with unending support from across the globe. Tony’s work has saved so many lives in Africa. He is a very worthy recipient of a Rotary Champions of Change award.”


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