About WOC

World Orthopaedic Concern (WOC) is an international non-profit organization for the advancement of orthopaedic education and care in LMICs, affiliated since 1984 with SICOT.

“During his 1970 extensive lecture tour organised by the Commonwealth Foundation Professor Ron Huckstep  (then of Uganda) travelled throughout the world and met many colleagues who agreed that there was a great need to improve orthopaedic care and training in areas of low resource. As a result Ron attracted funds to organise a meeting in 1973 and this was held at Oriel College in Oxford and attended by 39 professors and surgeons from 14 countries.

Delegates at the 1973 meeting at Oriel College, Oxford

A further meeting in 1975 in Singapore was arranged by Kanda Pillay where it was agreed that World Orthopaedic Concern (WOC) would be formed and that its tenets should be to:

  • Promote orthopaedic education and research

  • Promote the development of orthopaedic services

  • Promote and provide communication with countries and organisations

  • Promote rehabilitation and para-orthopaedic services

  • Any other activity consistent with these aims.

The first formal meeting was in 1977 and was hosted in Nigeria by the late Professor Jaja Miller.

A formal constitution for WOC was adopted and the following officers were elected:

President, Dr Allan McKelvie (USA)

1st Vice-President, Professor Millar Jaja (Nigeria)

2nd Vice-President, Professor Knud Jansen (Denmark)

Secretary General, Professor John Golding  (West Indies)

Treasurer, Dr Kanda Pillay (Singapore)


In Rio de Janeiro (1981) during the major triennial meeting of SICOT, as Secretary General, I helped Allan McKelvie to convince the executives of SICOT that they should accept WOC as an affiliate. This was achieved in 1984 after discussions with Dr Robert de Marneffe, the long-standing secretary of SICOT.”

(Geoffrey Walker (28.08.2011): The history of World Orthopaedic Concern)


In 2015 WOC was re-established in Belgium and is hosted at the SICOT Head Office in Brussels.

Communication about its activities and about developments in orthopaedic and trauma care in LMICs is done via a frequent digital newsletter and at special sessions at the SICOT Orthopaedic World Congress.

These newsletters and other information about WOC can be consulted on its website: