Shefali Mehta, a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Harbourside, was recently guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Newmarket.  As the Interplast District Coordinator, Shefali is the lead Rotarian for Interplast in District 9920.

Shefali spoke about the May 2019 Interplast program to Vaiola Hospital, Nuku’Alofa, Tonga which was supported by District 9920 and other donors.  She explained that the volunteer team focused on restoring function and completed 41 surgeries on patients aged between one and 45 years old.  The patients either had birth abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate or serious burns requiring reconstructive surgery. In addition, the team conducted 62 consultations and trained 13 local health professionals.

Many clubs within the district contributed towards the Interplast program to Tonga, including:
Papatoetoe Central
St Johns
Ellerslie Sunrise
Auckland Harbourside
Auckland South
Plus the Harold Thomas Rotary Trust

Our sincere thanks to Rotary District 9920 for all their support.

The Interplast surgical program to Tonga was made possible by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), Rotary District 9920 and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons through the Pacific Islands Program (PIP).  The allied health mentoring program was supported by the ANCP.

Thanks to Shefali Mehta and Jeff Smith for their input into this article.