We are thrilled to let you know that our volunteer medical and Rotarian support team will be returning to Ethiopia in November 2014.
In 2012, Rotaplast Canada performed 77 cleft lip/palate repairs and burn contracture repairs in Addis Ababa. These disfiguring conditions cause physical pain, social isolation, and untold suffering in a country where poverty is acute. It is very powerful to see lives absolutely transformed by medical procedures that are common here in Canada.
On our last mission we sent a team to the town of Bahir Dar, about six hours by car from Addis Ababa, to inspect the hospital for this upcoming mission. We saw first-hand the urgent and unmet need not just for cleft lip/plate repair, but also uterine prolapse repair. Over 1,000 women are waiting for this surgery in a country where woman have many children and at a very early age.
We know we must also increase our work in functional reconstruction of burns. Many rural people spend their lives around fire and are badly burned in accidents. In 2012 we met 16 year old Addis who was begging on the street to help support her family. Her face, arm, and hand had been badly burned in a fire as a young child. She could not close her left eye or use her arm. Two of our plastic surgeons worked for over three hours to release her eyelid with a skin graft and repair contractures to her arm to make it useable. The surgery greatly improved her disfigurement and mobility giving her a new life and new opportunities.
Our goals for Rotaplast Canada moving forward are to provide free reconstructive surgery to those who need it AND deliver education and training to local physicians and health care professionals who can sustain our work after we are gone.
On November 7, 2014 our volunteer team of 13 doctors and nurses, as well as several non-medical Rotarians, will return to Ethiopia to perform over 80 surgeries.
On this trip we will take the first steps to implement a partnership with a private teaching hospital to establish a burn unit in the Bahir Dar region, as the nearest facility is in Addis Ababa. At the request of our medical colleagues in Ethiopia our team will also deliver a curriculum of training for doctors and nurses to help improve the skills and capacity of health care professionals.
As you may know we received a Rotary Foundation Global Grant to fund part of this mission as well as funding from the District and several local Rotary clubs. We are grateful for the support of Rotarians in making these missions possible. If your club would like to sponsor a future mission please contact Rotarian Jean Bird at 250-3174415.

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