Imagine hearing your child required life-changing surgery, only to have it delayed for nearly three years.  The wait would be agony.  Sadly, for the 5 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to timely, and accessible surgery, this is not a new feeling, however, with the emergence of COVID19 as a global pandemic, the waiting lists have grown longer.

Interplast is therefore thrilled to announce that the first of our specialist surgical teams are returning to the Pacific in a matter of days.

COVID-19 had a profound impact on Interplast’s capacity to deliver on the ground specialist medical programs to our Asian and Pacific neighbours.  Yet, the inability to mobilise in-country over the past few years proved to be an interesting opportunity in the evolution of the training programs Interplast undertakes with its partner countries.  Interplast’s ability to adapt in response to the needs and requests of communities regarding mentorship and education during the pandemic provided new and important opportunities, however we know that nothing beats a well-trained specialist plastic surgeon, together with their highly skilled team providing life-changing care, in country.

For Interplast, a return to Fiji offers that opportunity.

This will be Interplast’s 145th visit to Fiji since 1983 and is made possible through the generosity of Rotarians and other individuals committed to repairing bodies and rebuilding lives.

Interplast’s team of volunteers, led by experienced Interplast volunteer and surgeon Dr Anand Ramakrishnan depart Australia in mid-November for Labasa, on the island of Vanua Levu where patients will be treated by a team of two surgeons, two anaesthetists and two nurses working alongside local medical professionals.  The Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva will then host the surgical teams to facilitate general plastic and reconstructive surgical services and in-person training.

The absence of Interplast’s surgical teams over the past few years has seen the number of patients waiting to be treated grow and it is with your support we can now continue our critical care.  Living as we do in a society with readily accessible health care, it is only when we are exposed to the ongoing health issues in developing countries do, we truly understand the lifesaving work Interplast undertakes.  Socially, economically and emotionally – our patients are impacted across the spectrum without Interplast’s surgical intervention.  Serious burns left untreated influence educational and financial prospects.  Cleft palates impede the ability to communicate.  Interplast’s work goes beyond the surgical – with your help, we are transforming lives.

The generosity of Interplast’s supporters over the worst of the COVID-19 period has underpinned and strengthened the continuity of the important work Interplast undertakes.  We value the support of the community and consistent stewardship of Rotary Australia and New Zealand to achieve the goals of transforming lives and society as a whole.