Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
Interplast Australia and New Zealand, a not-for-profit organisation, will be in the city of Mt Hagen from February 8 to 15 to carry out plastic and reconstructive surgical services and training, at the Mt Hagen General Hospital.
This will mark the 88th visit by Interplast to Papua New Guinea since 1985, where they have facilitated 5,094 consultations and 2,541 life-changing procedures to date.
Persons with cleft lip and palate conditions, or who have suffered scarring from burns, hand injuries and tumours, are urged to make direct contact with the surgical unit of the hospital.
The Interplast team will comprise of one anaesthetist, two nurses and three plastic surgeons, all led by Dr Simon Donahue.
A consultation clinic will be staged at 9am on Sunday, 8 February, at the Mt Hagen General Hospital’s outpatient clinic and from the 8th to the 13th, plastic and reconstructive surgery will be performed.
The organisation has worked in 25 countries, providing free reconstructive surgery for persons who would otherwise be unable to afford or have access to such services. Interplast also works with local medical practitioners, through capacity building and empowerment.
Through Interplast, over 70 surgeons and nurses have gone on to receive adequate training in Australia; and over 600 volunteers have been engaged in medical programs, and have provided over 37,000 consultations and performed over 21,000 life-changing operations.
Christine Hunter, a nurse with Interplast states on the Interplast website: “Is it the excessive number of people who are waiting to be seen in the clinic or the smiles on the faces of the families, whose children have had their cleft lip repairs, which has drawn me back to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea for my third trip?”
“It has been said that when we operate on these children not only are their lives changed but that of their whole village. The family unit is very strong in the Highlands, and when a child is born with a deformity or sustains a burn from the open fires in their homes, this impacts on the quality of life for that family.”
“Travelling to Papua New Guinea as a member of the Interplast team has provided me with some amazing experiences.”
Image credit: www.interplast.com.au