Making headway in facilitating optimal fragility fracture management in the Asia Pacific

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APFFA Joint Steering Committee stages fifth bi-annual meeting


On Thursday, August 12, 2021, APFFA Joint Steering Committee (JSC) members convened for their fifth bi-annual meeting, held via Zoom.

The two-hour virtual meeting attracted representation from six of APFFA’s seven member organisations, including the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), Asia-Oceanian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (AOSPRM), Fragility Fracture Network (FFN), Asia Pacific Geriatric Medicine Network (APGMN), International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the Asian Federation of Osteoporosis Societies (AFOS).

The biannual meeting served as an opportunity for members of APFFA’s three Working Groups –the Education Working Group, the Hip Fracture Registry Working Group and the Evidence Generation Working Group – to provide an overview of initiatives undertaken, and progress made, since the last JSC meeting held on Tuesday, November 4, 2020. All participants engaged in productive and collaborative dialogue throughout the meeting.

Education Working Group

Throughout 2021, the Education Working Group has submitted a plethora of abstracts and presented posters at various national and global conferences, promoting APFFA’s Primary Care Physician Education Toolkit and the recently launched Hip Fracture Registry (HFR) Toolbox. These conferences include the:

  • American Society of Bone Mineral Research (ASBMR);
  • Endocrine Society of Australia – Society for Reproductive Biology – Australian and New Zealand Bone Mineral Society (ESA-SRB-ANZBMS);
  • FFN Global Congress;
  • World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (WCO-IOF-ESCEO).

The Group has also undertaken an extensive literature review to determine perceptions of osteoporosis and fracture among various stakeholder groups, which is set for imminent publication– stay tuned!

Hip Fracture Registry Working Group

On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the Hip Fracture Registry Working Group, in collaboration with the Fragility Fracture Network (FFN), launched the Hip Fracture Registry (HFR) Toolbox – a practical and informative resource which explains the fundamental need, and how to best advocate for, the establishment of a national hip fracture registry. Since launch, The HFR Toolbox has also been translated into Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese (originally launched in English) and uploaded to the APFFA website

Launch of the HFR Toolbox was announced via a regional trade and industry media campaign which generated 142 stories across 14 countries and organisations in the Asia Pacific. Release of the Toolbox also coincided with the launch of APFFA’s YouTube channel, which houses a series of educational videos featuring interviews with leading clinicians from the global bone arena.

Evidence Generation Working Group

The Evidence Generation Working Group has undertaken a literature review on the pattern of osteoporosis medication use in Asia Pacific over the past two decades. The peer-reviewed literature search is complete, while the grey literature search is anticipated for completion in September 2021.

During the meeting, APFFA co-Chair, Dato’ Dr Joon Kiong Lee, Malaysia, announced a new section of the Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association (APOA) had recently been formed at the APOA Congress held in July 2021.

“For many years APOA has had 10 sections, each its own society, and with its own governance structure.

“A need for a specific section that focuses on osteoporosis and fragility fractures was identified following a full-day session on these topics during the APOA Congress,” said Dato’ Dr Lee.

The new section, the Asia Pacific Osteoporosis & Fragility Fracture Society (APOFFS) has a number of objectives, including to increase awareness, knowledge, and to promote best practice in osteoporosis and fragility fracture care. APOFFS will also play an important role as a direct channel to collaborate with orthopaedic and non-orthopaedic organisations at the regional and global level.

APFFA co-Chair, Prof Derrick Chan, Taiwan, concluded APFFA’s fifth biannual meeting by acknowledging the substantial progress achieved since the previous meeting.

“Despite the ongoing challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents, it is remarkable to see such progress continuing to be made by APFFA’s three Working Groups.

“We continue to hope for a face-to-face meeting next time we convene, and look forward to many more productive meetings, as APFFA continues to fulfill its mission – to promote multidisciplinary collaboration and change policy to facilitate best practise in the acute care, rehabilitation and secondary prevention of fragility fractures,” Dr Prof Chan Said.

To stay up to date with APFFA’s progress in driving policy change, improving awareness, and changing mindsets to optimise fragility fracture management in the Asia Pacific, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn – asia-pacific-fragility-fracture-alliance.


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