Volunteer assessing patient

Changing futures through medical care and training

In Australia and New Zealand, we often take it for granted that if we ever need medical care, we will be treated quickly and effectively by highly qualified doctors, nurses, surgeons and other specialists.

But right next door in the Asia Pacific region, a lack of resources combined with limited training means people with repairable conditions are often not treated fast enough or well enough – if they are treated at all.

The numbers are almost impossible to grasp.

An estimated 143 million people each year go without surgical attention they urgently need, according to the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. More than 99 million of those cases are in Asia and Oceania, where Interplast works.

For many conditions, plastic and reconstructive surgery is the only path to a productive and comfortable life.

If a mum or dad is burned in an accident and not treated adequately, scarring can cause the affected limbs to seize up or fuse to other parts of the body. The right surgical procedure can mean the difference between returning to work, or no longer being able to provide for their family.

A child with a cleft lip or facial tumour may be teased so badly that attending school is impossible. Surgery can make the difference between missing out on an education, or fulfilling their potential. For those with cleft palates, surgery can mean the difference between being able to eat properly or suffering from malnutrition, and between speaking with ease or living in silence.

Plastic surgery has the power to change the future of entire communities, yet for millions of those who need it most, it is simply not available or not affordable.

Of course, no single organisation could ever help that many people, which is why – in addition to free reconstructive surgery – Interplast delivers high quality training for local medical professionals in each of our 17 partner countries, in response to their requests. We do this in close collaboration with our local partners and a network of organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

Our training programs help strengthen health systems by giving professionals the skills they need to restore function – and hope – to people affected by burns, tumours, hand and foot injuries, congenital anomalies and more. In the meantime, our volunteer medical teams work tirelessly to help as many individuals as they can.

When you donate to Interplast, you contribute directly to changing futures today. Your donation will give someone in need the chance to have life-changing surgery, and it will give someone the opportunity to learn new skills that will benefit their community for years to come.