Smiles after Surgeries

Rotary Sri Lanka, Interplast Germany and Dr ­Neville ­Fernando Hospital, ­Malabe, Sri Lanka, have ­transformed lives of children born with facial and physical deformities through corrective plastic surgeries. At their latest camp they performed 50 surgeries and the youngest child Biyanwila (9 months) was operated for cleft palate. She was on the ­waiting list of a Government hospital, with the operation scheduled only in 2017.

The team that gave the transformation.

“Thanks to Rotary Sri Lanka and the doctors from Germany, my child will have a beautiful tomorrow,” said the mother. Her parents who could not afford the surgery at a private hospital are now “delighted” because “the surgery not only gave cosmetic results but also improved her speech and swallowing.”

The estimated value of this plastic surgery project surpassed Rs 10 million and was initiated by the German Embassy.  “Germany’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Dr Jurgen Morhard introduced a team of doctors from Interplast Germany who visit various parts of the world offering their time and resources as a part of their social responsibility, to RC Colombo West,” said Rtn Roshan Lyman Chairman of the Project. “For almost a year I had to work with the German team leader Dr Matthias for the logistics in Sri Lanka, to get approvals from the Ministry, identify a partner hospital, promoting the project and identification of patients,” he added.

A surgery in progress.

After the funds were allocated Dr Neville Fernando Hospital was selected because of its impressive array of services and the availability of German equipment. The hospital agreed to provide services free of charge to carry out the operations there, explained Lyman.

At the camp the doctors completed consultations followed by surgeries for burn injuries, hand deformities and cleft lip and palates. “There were three categories of patients — those who came for consultations, second opinion or surgery. Treating patients ­requiring surgery was our main aim. But everyone who visited the hospital got a chance to meet the doctors,” said Dr ­Lackshan Fernando, Head of Medical Service at Dr Neville ­Fernando Hospital.  “We are happy and honoured to have been a part of this project. Patients came from different parts of the island to be treated by the team of top 11 ­German doctors and the results are heart warming.”

The surgery not only gave cosmetic results but also improved her speech and swallowing.

Calling this project a “friendship between the societies,” the German Ambassador said, “This is nothing to do with the Government; this is an initiative between society and people. It is about how the people are benefited. Germany started helping Sri Lanka 10 years ago — this is not the first time.”

DG Gowri Rajan was “thankful to RC Colombo West for partnering with RI District 3220 in an initiative that recognised needy people who required such complex surgeries.”


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