Donation of 3D anatomy prints to low-middle-income countries

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After Professor McMenamin’s work in Liberia in late 2015, the Monash Anatomy 3D Printing Lab within the Center for Human Anatomy Education (CHAE) continues to seek ways to help low-middle-income countries (LMICs) in the anatomy education.

Professor McMenamin spoke about this topic at the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) Annual Meeting in Melbourne in May 2021. Some of the activities outlined below were in part due to the discussions and links made at that meeting. CHAE pioneered the use of 3D body structure replicas to teach anatomy to medical students, as ABC reported in 2016.

Fiji

CHAE has been providing educational support to the Uman and Prasad School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UPSM) in Fiji for several years. Associate Professor Michelle Lazarus visited in 2016 and Professor Paul McMenamin taught around four online active learning courses in 2020 and again in 2021. Teaching sessions were organized by “Friends4Fiji”, a volunteer group of medical students within the Faculty of Medicine, of Nursing and Health Sciences from Monash University.

In addition, CHAE has just donated approximately 40 individual 3D printed replicas of human anatomy to UPSM with detailed descriptions.

This donation will allow students to examine unique and anatomically accurate replicas of human structures developed at Monash. UPSM medical school does not have access to human donors for dissection, nor does it have many other learning resources besides textbooks. The donation was greeted with extreme gratitude to Monash CHAE and the 3D printing facility, as it effectively enables them to set up a new Anatomy Learning Resource Center.

The images above show the 3D printed replicas of human anatomy specimens packed for transport from Monash in late May and unpacked to Fiji in August by the Dean, Professor Fred Merchant and his colleagues.

Papua New Guinea

With the introductions of Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Prof. McMenamin contacted the Executive Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea, Prof. Nakapi Tefuarani, and asked if CHAE could be of assistance in providing teaching materials. learning in the form of 3D prints. Their medical school is in a situation similar to that of Fiji, without access to human donors and with only a limited supply of some ancient anatomical dissections for teaching. Therefore, the Dean and his colleagues were very enthusiastic about the offer of help from CHAE. About 25 individual 3D prints were sent in late July along with medical supplies from Monash Health (hosted by Professor Ram Nataraja) being delivered to their local hospital. Professor McMenamin and staff at CHAE’s Monash 3D Printing Lab will continue to attempt to support this medical school based on identified and observed needs.

Specimens packaged for transport to PNG and received by PNG University staff in August 2021.

Future opportunities to help LMICs

There are fantastic opportunities to do valuable work in other LMICs. CHAE was recently contacted by AusHeal, an organization that provides surgical training and medical assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After hearing Professor McMenamin’s presentation at RACS, the organization is investigating whether 3D prints can be useful for teaching trainee surgeons and medical students in the DRC as they have few practical opportunities to learn anatomy. . As a result, there is a major problem with iatrogenic (healthcare related) injuries, especially during childbirth and cesarean deliveries.

If you would like to help CHAE in this valuable outreach work, please consider Donate to the Monash BDI. * Please indicate “LMIC Anatomy education” in the “My gift preference” box.


Thanks

Professor McMenamin would like to thank Associate Professor Justin Adams, Director of the 3D Printing Lab, for his continued support in this work of identifying material for donation. The technical staff, Michelle Quayle and Lucy Costello, were of great help in identifying the hardware and helping to repair damaged prints.

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About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University

Committed to making the discoveries that will ease the future burden of disease, the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally renowned research teams. Our researchers are backed by world-class technology and infrastructure and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to improve lives through discovery.

About the Human Anatomy Education Center

The Center for Human Anatomy Education (CHAE) is a globally recognized center of excellence in the disciplines of anatomy and anatomy education. The center supports and oversees the teaching of human anatomy throughout the University, ensuring that our curriculum and teaching is of the highest global standard. We are part of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, within the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute.


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