The Restoring Emotional Stability Through Outstanding Reconstructive Efforts (RESTORE), a worldwide Foundation, in collaboration with the Upper East Regional hospital have commenced free reconstructive surgeries at the facility for patients in need of such surgeries in the Region and beyond.
RESTORE is a non-profit medical services organisation based in the United States of America (USA), and provides free reconstructive surgeries and related medical services for children and adults with functional disfiguring and deformities as a result of birth defects, accidents and diseases.
The twenty-member team, made up of volunteer Doctors with diverse expertise, Anesthesiologists, Surgical and Peri-Operative Nurses drawn from Ghana, Germany, Canada, USA and Mali, are scheduled to perform over 135 surgeries for patients in need of various forms of reconstructive surgeries.
Madam Dawn Sutherland, the Director of International Relations for RESTORE Worldwide in an interview with the media in Bolgatanga, on Tuesday, said the team was in the Region for the second time, and recalled how the team performed 86 surgeries last year, "So far, we have screened over 135 cases to be seen this week."
She said Dr Michael Obeng, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RESTORE who is a Ghanaian Plastic Surgeon based in Beverly Hills, a City in Los Angeles, USA, started RESTORE worldwide Foundation in 2008.
Madam Sutherland said the Foundation used to concentrate its activities in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, but began operations in the Upper East Region last year.
Dr Bertin Dembele, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon from Mali, said even though the conditions at the Regional Hospital were not the best, "we are ready to work in any kind of situation to help the people."
He called on governments in developing countries to train more Plastic Reconstructive Surgeons, and said "People feel reconstructive surgery is for the developed countries, but it is not. I think that our developing countries need plastic reconstructive surgeries more than the developed countries."
Madam Nadia Adongo Musah, the Deputy Director for Diaspora Affairs, at the Office of the President, who led the team to the Region, said part of their mandate at the Diaspora Affairs unit was to mobilise Ghanaians outside the country to return and contribute to the development of the country.