Lisa Shirichena Herald Reporter
Operation of Hope, a charity organisation from the United States, successfully completed 76 cleft lip and palate surgeries in the just-ended ninth surgical mission in the country.
The surgeons’ team leader, Ms Jennifer Trubenbach, commended the doctors and nurses from Zimbabwe who welcomed them and made their mission “a huge success”.
“We are grateful for the surgeries we completed with support from Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, Rotary Club of Harare Central and the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” she said.
“We know how disappointing it is for a mother who gives birth to a baby of this type, therefore we are ready to come back again in May 2016.”
During lunch time, the surgeons conducted medical seminars, educating local nurses at Harare Central Hospital. “We are committed to training more doctors and nurses to improve the future of the affected patients,” said Ms Trubenbach.
She said a simple cleft lip surgery could change the course of a person’s life and that was why they tried hard to get them fixed when patients were young. “The surgeries are usually done when a patient is young to avoid being teased and kept out from school because of the stigma held against the person,” said Ms Trubenbach.
Speaking at a cocktail held for the surgeons yesterday, Schweppes chief executive Mr Charles Msipa said the surgeries were not of benefit to the patients only, but the nation as a whole.