7 February 2013

Rwandans to Get Free Facial Plastic Surgery

A team of plastic surgeons from North America arrived in the country this week to give Rwandans free facial and plastic surgery.

'Face the Future Mission' comprises over seven medical specialists in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from some of the most reputable health facilities such as John Hopkins Hospital and Wilford Hall Military Centre.

They include Dr Daniel Alam, the first Surgeon to perform a Face Transplant in North America and Dr Ife Sofola, a former Chief of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, among others.

The surgeons have no specific targeted number of patients to work on but said they will be operating on as many people as they can throughout the course of this week from both the Rwanda Military Hospital and King Faisal Hospital.

Dr Alex Butera, the CEO of King Faisal Hospital, said the team's visit and provision of their services is a big opportunity for Rwandans since they won't only be doing surgery but training Rwandan medics as well.

Requesting more visits

"We get many cases of people in need of plastic surgery yet currently we have one Plastic Surgeon in the country. This is therefore a big opportunity for us," he said adding that they had made arrangements with the visiting experts to come in every year.

Some of the cases that will be handled include fixing people with deformities such as cleft lips, tumors and face transplants, for instance, people whose faces and necks have been deformed due to severe accidents.

Doctor King Kayondo, the Head of the Surgery Department at the Rwanda Military Hospital, said the team will be handling the most complicated cases of plastic surgery that are sometimes difficult to handle here in the country as they get a big number of cases sometimes.

According to Dr Sofola, the team is here to provide quality world class plastic surgery for Rwandans in need of their services.

He also added that they are looking forward to establishing a long term relationship with Rwanda to continue the collaboration in improving surgery.

"This team also wants to help expand the Rwandan medics expertise of medical care, thus improving health care in surgery," he said.

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