The Ripple Effect: 2021 Annual Report

The Ripple Effect: 2021 Annual Report

USA Headquarters
November 23, 2021

We Are Proud to Present Our 2021 Annual Report!

We are thrilled to share our 2021 ReSurge International Annual Report! Thanks to supporters like you and to the work of our medical partners, volunteers, and generous donors around the globe, our efforts to train the next generation of reconstructive surgical teams are having a ripple effect worldwide.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, we were one of the first organizations of our kind to swiftly transition into virtual training. Despite having to cancel all in-person programming, we were soon averaging one virtual lecture every 2.7 days. This allowed us to quadruple the number of trainings completed this fiscal year. We started new mentorship programs, established online communities, created a database of over 150 free educational lectures and publications, and we even partnered with fellow nonprofit, Ohana One, to pilot a program using surgical smart glass technology.

All these new tools and technologies will continue to multiply our impact well into the future. The work that we accomplished this year inspiring, and we are honored to share it with you!

Read the 2021 Annual Report
 

2021 Annual Report Highlights

Here are some highlights of what you’ll find in this year’s report:

      • Why the World Needs Reconstructive Surgery. Read about our movement to transform lives and livelihoods.
      • The Ripple Effect: Our Impact Today and Beyond. Learn how we scale our mission by focusing on the long-term sustainability and impact of our programs.
      • Where We Work and What We Do. View our programmatic map and learn how we train for impact, treat for care, partner for equity, and advocate for sustainability.
      • ReSurge International Program in Africa (RIPA) Special Report. Check out our key accomplishments plus stories from our eLearning Center in Uganda and our first Annual Scholarship recipient, Dr. Seif Nuru.
      • Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWRS) Special Report. Learn how we are tackling the gender gap in reconstructive surgery plus a special story on Dr. Tinga Nyoni who received the highest board scores in her region.
      • Patient and Partner Stories. Because at the end of the day, this is why we do this work!

Read the 2021 Annual Report
 

Support Our Future: Donate
 

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Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date on the latest happenings at Resurge International. Join our Community!
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Latest Stories

Patient Stories

Stories from the Field

The Ripple Effect: 2021 Annual Report

We Are Proud to Present Our 2021 Annual Report! We are thrilled to share our 2021 ReSurge Internatio …

A mother’s fierce hope | Basanti

ReSurge’s patients and their families are brave. They are strong. They are fighters. Some take a bus …

Do You See What I See? ReSurge Incorporates Augm…

ReSurge International is proud to partner with Ohana One International Surgical Aid, a global surgic …

Dr. Tinga Nyoni: A Pioneering Woman Surgeon Achiev…

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the global surgery sector hard. All international travel was canceled and …

Pride Is Not a Factor: Dr. Swain on Being a Resurg…

For over six years, Dr. Bharatendu Swain has been a ReSurge International Surgical Outreach Partner. …

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

ReSurge International is an international global health organization driven to address surgical ineq …

In Good Hands: The Story of Young Bibas

“Other than the face, our hands are the most communicative part of our body when connecting to the o …

How ReSurge is Shaping the Future: A Conversation …

At ReSurge International, our reconstructive surgical care and training transforms the lives of thou …

Lawrence Cai: Meet the Laub Fellow Quantifying our…

The Donald R. Laub Fellowship program, named after our founder Don Laub, allows for a fourth-year re …

Volunteer Spotlight: Honoring The Golden Girls of …

It’s a sunny day at the Canyon Inn, a classic family diner decked in1970s sports memorabilia in Redw …

Donor Spotlight: How Women Surgeons in Los Angeles…

Empowered women empower women. Since we launched the Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWR …

Learning and Unlearning: Our DEI Journey

“The pandemic plus the national attention to matters of equity—including access to healthcare—have h …

Juneteenth National Independence Day Statement

On June 19, 2021 the United States will celebrate Juneteenth National Independence Day, as an offici …

Surgical Partner Profile: Matolase Mtonga

Dr. Matolase Mtonga always knew she wanted to be a surgeon. But as a medical student in Zambia she f …

Transformations: 2020 Annual Report

The year 2020 was unlike any other. We began on a high note, celebrating our 50th anniversary as the …

Standing in Solidarity with India and Nepal

Dear Friends and Colleagues, The current situation and devastation caused by the novel coronavirus i …

Hope in Nepal: A Mother and Baby’s Journey

A child born with a cleft lip in Nepal has a tough journey ahead. Difficulty breastfeeding and chron …

Volunteer Spotlight: Dharshan Sivaraj

At ReSurge International, we have the honor and privilege to work alongside many talented partners, …

Delali Attiogbe Attipoe Brings a Wealth of Experie…

In pursuit of finding a non-profit that shared her personal passion of expanding health access to th …

Making a Powerful Impact in Peru 

Dr. Percy Rossell-Perry, a practicing reconstructive surgeon at Edgardo Rebagliati Ho …

Board Spotlight: Meredith Taylor

A ReSurge Board Member since 2015, Meredith Taylor was recently named Chair of our Board of Director …

The Higgins-Shaw Nepal Microsurgery Fund 

None of our work would be possible without the steadfast support of you, our donors — together we’re …

Our Founder – Don Laub

Our Founder, Dr. Donald Laub  In 1969, a group of volunteers from the Bay Area’s Latin Ame …

Board Spotlight: Eileen Sheldon 

  Eileen Sheldon, ReSurge Board member, recently did a spectacular job chairing our T …

Volunteer Spotlight: Deb Rusy M.D

How did you hear about ReSurge and get involved? One of the University of Wisconsin pediatric neuros …

ReSurge Board Views Impact Up Close

In May, members of ReSurge’s board of directors visited our surgical outreach partner sites in Nepal …

Interview with New Laub Fellow, Chao Long

We are proud to introduce Chao Long, the newly selected Donald R. Laub Fellow. Named for our ReSurge …

Interview with Laub Fellow Dr. Anna Luan

Dr. Anna Luan recently completed the Donald R. Laub Fellowship. Named for our ReSurge founder and co …

Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Fossum

When ReSurge volunteer Sue Fossum first heard about ReSurge, she was working in the PACU at UC Davis …

Dr Hien Thi Nguyen Honored at Transformations Gala

Dr. Hien Thi Nguyen knew the rural poor of her country needed the medical services ReSurge provides. …

ReSurge, COSECSA Partner to Launch Initiative in S…

ReSurge is pleased to be launching a new initiative to increase access to safe reconstructive s …

What I Learned Firsthand on the Ground in Dehradun

By Tom Seery I spent the first days of 2020 in Dehradun, India as part of a visiting educator trip w …

Fiftieth Anniversary Flashback: The 1980’s

When Dr. Mark Singleton was asked to join a surgical mission trip in 1986, he was intrigued by the t …

Kathmandu Leadership Training

Last month, we packed our bags and headed to Kathmandu for a week of leadership training for the emp …

ReSurge and ASSH Volunteers Share Their Experience…

In May of this year, a medical team of hand surgeons and hand therapists traveled with ReSurge, in p …

Introducing Anna Luan, ReSurge’s Third Laub Fellow

We are proud to introduce Anna Luan, the newly selected Donald R. Laub Fellow. Named for our ReSurge …

Razia, Rohingya Refugee

Earlier this month, a ReSurge surgical mission trip visited Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, where we treat …

Ty, Acid Burn Survivor

Ty is a thirty-four-year-old woman with a beautiful smile. We treated her on a recent visit to Phan …

Helping India’s Children Heal From Burns

Meet Sheetal. At age 12, she was burned in a fire at her home where she lives with her widowed mothe …

Donor Spotlight: A Lesson in Karma

“If you do something good for others, something good will come to you.” This is how Anthony D. expla …

Cleft Palate Repair Follow Up in Vietnam

An important part of our mission is to provide reconstructive surgical care for poor children and ad …

Delivering Long-Term Impact Through Anesthesia Tra…

A well-known expert in pediatric anesthesiology, Dr. George Gregory has volunteered his skills with …

Dr. Shankar Man Rai Bio

Dr. Shankar Man Rai, a world-renowned expert at repairing clefts and burn injuries, has provided mor …

Dr. Pramila Shakya: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Shakya is a maxillofacial surgeon at the Nepal Cleft and Burn Center at Kirtipur Hospital in Kat …

Dr. Celma Issufo: Pioneering Women in Reconstructi…

Dr. Issufo is the plastic surgery service director at Mozambique’s Maputo Central Hospital. She trea …

Dr. Shilu Shrestha: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Shrestha is an orthopedic hand surgeon at the Hospital and Rehabilitation center for Disabled Ch …

Dr. Faith Muchemwa: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Muchemwa is a consultant plastic and reconstructive  surgeon, at Parirenyatwa Hospital at t …

Dr. Farzana Ibrahim: Pioneering Women in Reconstru…

Dr Ibrahim is a senior registrar in the plastic surgery department at Birdem General Hospital (Bangl …

Dr. Lorena EScudero: Pioneering Women in Reconstru…

Dr. Escudero is a plastic surgeon at Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the largest nonpro …

Training the Next Generation of Surgeons in Cuba

At the beginning of his career, Dr. Bill McClure was on track to become a cardiovascular surgeon–th …

Life-Changing Microsurgery in Nepal

In mid-July, ReSurge sent visiting educators Dr. Gordon Lee and Dr. Matthew Chetta to train local re …

Burn Care Education in Mozambique

In late August 2016, a visiting educator team made ReSurge’s inaugural visit to Mozambique, as part …

Improving Nursing and Specialty Care in Bhutan

ReSurge’s Visiting Educator trips to Bhutan are making an impact after just over a year working in t …

Creating Lasting Impact in Zambia

A patient story as told by Dr. Goran Jovic. At first, I did not notice anything unusual about him. I …

An Empowered Survivor | Kanchana

Kanchana is a bright young nurse in Sri Lanka. She graduated eleventh out of 30,000 nursing students …

Giving a Mother Peace of Mind

When baby Christine was born in central Zambia, her mother immediately noticed that something was wr …

Reconnecting with Lilliam After More Than 10 Years

The year was 1987, and Marlon and Violeta in Nicaragua were like any other parents of a new baby gir …

Making Dreams Possible | Tonmoy

Tonmoy was living the life of a typical 6-year-old boy—climbing trees and running around. One day, w …

Back to School Despite His Disability | Alam

Alam lives in an apartment building in Dhaka, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. …

Regaining the Ability to Walk | Mohammed Hussein

Mohammed Hussein was just 7 years old when the accident occurred that left him on crutches. He was p …

12 Years After Cleft Lip Surgery

Ganesh is 14 years old. Despite living in a small rural village of Nepal, he dreams of becoming a do …

The Road to Hope | Priyanka

Vijay arises early, before the sun is up, and gently wakes his daughter Priyanka. She looks into his …

A Glimpse into Man Kumari’s life

Outside Bharatapur, a southern crossroads town where Nepal’s east and west meet on the nation’s main …

A bright Future | Kalus

Kalus is an 8-year-old boy from a small village between Pokhara and Kathmandu in Nepal, who could no …

Creatively Treating Acute Burns | Astha

Astha, a baby girl in Nepal, fell from her mother’s lap into a fire during a traditional ceremony wh …

Freeing Sirisu’s Hand

Sirisu is a charming 4-year-old from Nepal who accidentally scalded his arm while making hot food fo …

Restoring future dreams | Rinchin

Rinchin, 13, wants to be a movie star. He is one of the patients we met recently when students from …

Without Surgery, School Was Not Within His Reach |…

Four-year-old Nguyen was born with three of his fingers fused on each hand, a congenital birth defec …

Helping Mother and Child | Hoa & Hoai

Hoa, a young mother, knew intimately the stigma of a cleft lip as she had been born with one herself …

A Family Renewed | Thi

The ReSurge team fell in love with 3-month-old Thi Ngol Quyen during a trip to Vietnam in April 2013 …

A Contracture Released, A Life Renewed | Quynh

Like more than 2 billion people worldwide, Quynh’s family in Vietnam does their cooking over open fi …

Mom and My | A Mother’s Hope

Sixteen-month-old My and her mother, Hat, live in Quy Nhon, on Vietnam’s eastern coast. When Hat was …

A Mother’s Dedication | Y Dim

Y Dim, now 2 years old, was born in the rural mountains of Vietnam with a cleft lip. After she was b …

A Smile 58 Years in the Making | Tam

On a surgical team trip to Quy Nhon, Vietnam, we met Tam, a man who has been waiting 58 years to hav …

Removing Stigma | Huynh

Five-year-old Huynh was born in a small village in Vietnam with a condition known as congenital hair …

The Character and Spirit of Hasan

Hasan is a daughter, a sister, a mother and at the moment, our patient. Hasan’s smile is a clear win …

An Emotional Return to India | Nisha

I’ve been looking forward to returning to Dehradun because I would finally get the opportunity to re …

The Incredible Impact | Punkaj

In early 2013, ReSurge sent a team trip to Dehradun, India, where we have a Surgical Outreach Progra …

Magali: Paying it forward

Magali’s original accident took place when she was two years old. Her mother was preparing caramelo …

Healing Hands: Joseph and Adriana

Joseph is a 7-year-old boy from El Alto, Bolivia. He was born with syndactyly, a condition in which …

Future Basketball Player | Jonathan

When you meet Jonathan, you quickly realize he has more cares than a typical 6-year-old should. He h …

Dara: The Right Start to Life

During a clinic in Nicaragua last March, we met 2-month-old Dara. Dara, like so many other children, …

Our First Patient | Antonio

In the 1960s, Antonio, a 13-year-old boy from Mexicali, Mexico, was being raised by his grandmother, …

The Real Impact of Surgery | Luis Fernando

On a trip to Ecuador in 2012, we met five-year-old Luis Fernando. Two years prior, he had been terri …

Andrea: From Patient to Nurse

Jacqueline’s 28-year-old daughter, Andrea, is her pride and joy. When Andrea was born with a bilater …

Making Connections for His Care | Sorie

As the director of international services at ReSurge International, Amy Laden is often contacted by …

Helping Oumar Be Mali’s First Reconstructive Plast…

In Mali, there is only one physician for every 12,800 people—and no reconstructive plastic surgeons. …

Bringing Hope to Mali | Awa

Awa, an 11-year-old girl, was shaking down fruit from a tree with a metal pole when her pole hit a l …

Seeking Advice on a Hyena Bite

When Dr. Goran Jovic was presented the case of a teenager attacked by a hyena, he turned to ReSurge …

A Mother’s Hope For Her Son

Mateo was one of nearly 17,000 people who receive a severe burn every year in Zambia, a country with …

Chrispine and Mwate: Crossing the Border for Hope

Determined to do the best they could for their babies, mothers Bella and Mwanga banded together for …

Jacob’s Arms are Freed

Five-year-old Jacob is bright, outgoing and likes to play football. But life for Jacob hasn’t been c …

Meet Jonas from Tanzania

Jonas is one brave little 5 year old. He lives with his family under a giant baobob tree on the plai …

Hands & Father’s Hope

When Favour was 3 years old, he was at home alone with his 12-year-old cousin who was looking after …

A Mother’s Fierce Hope | Basanti

A mother’s fierce hope | Basanti

Nepal,
November 11, 2021

ReSurge’s patients and their families are brave. They are strong. They are fighters. Some take a bus for hours to get their injured baby to an emergency room that is often ill equipped to care for the child. To get to a better hospital, some sell their land, take out a loan—sometimes both. They leave the small comforts of their own homes and their jobs for weeks at a time and sleep on the hospital floor next to their child. And some parents are abandoned by their spouses, because it is too much. Too much pain, too much sacrifice, too hard to see their child disfigured.

Although these struggles are representative of many in the developing world where medical care is scarce, all of these specific hardships happened to Basanti, a brave 22-year-old mother of two young children from Rolpa, Nepal.

A normal day turned tragic more than a year ago when Basanti returned from fetching water for the family’s dinner. She found that her eight-month-old son Bishal had fallen into the cooking fire and was screaming; all other family members were in the fields harvesting. Basanti was in shock, but she wrapped her baby in blankets and ran for care. Unfortunately, she had to travel more than six hours to seek emergency care for him at the closest hospital. No one in the village or at the local health post knew what to do —and even the district hospital could only stabilize him and did not treat his wounds properly.

As a result, his little fingers contracted into a fist as the burned skin “healed,” making it impossible for him to use his hand. His cheek, lips and eyelid also contracted and tightened, threatening his vision. After selling part of their farm to pay for transportation to Kathmandu, Basanti sought further treatment for her baby. However, two hospitals in the nation’s capital could not help either, and his condition worsened.

Finally, she heard of free surgical care available through ReSurge. Dr. Shankar Rai, ReSurge’s outreach director in Nepal, and his team restored Bishal’s eyelid, and his hand will soon be repaired. Bishal is one of the lucky ones, even though it took more than a year for him to get appropriate treatment. Thousands of other children never get the care they need to live a normal life after a disabling burn.

Basanti continues to care for Bishal and his 4-year-old sister, but does so alone, as her husband abandoned their family. Basanti knows she is all her children have at this point. Her dream is to have Bishal healed and both of her children well-educated—and she pursues that dream fiercely, despite her hardships. She labors hard at the brick kiln and on neighboring farms to provide for them, while Dr. Rai and ReSurge help with her son’s care.

“Basanti says that she will never abandon her children. She is going to take care of them, because she loves her children and is willing to do whatever it takes,” said Dr. Rai, who was touched by her tenacity, integrity and courage. “She is a very brave mother and there are not very many people like her in society,” continued Rai. “I think society runs and maintains its integrity because of people like Basanti. If everyone were like her husband, then society would disintegrate. We are honored we can provide some support to her through surgery.”

testing form here

How Can I Help Now?

Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date on the latest happenings at Resurge International. Join our Community!
* indicates required

Latest Stories

Patient Stories

Stories from the Field

The Ripple Effect: 2021 Annual Report

We Are Proud to Present Our 2021 Annual Report! We are thrilled to share our 2021 ReSurge Internatio …

A mother’s fierce hope | Basanti

ReSurge’s patients and their families are brave. They are strong. They are fighters. Some take a bus …

Do You See What I See? ReSurge Incorporates Augm…

ReSurge International is proud to partner with Ohana One International Surgical Aid, a global surgic …

Dr. Tinga Nyoni: A Pioneering Woman Surgeon Achiev…

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the global surgery sector hard. All international travel was canceled and …

Pride Is Not a Factor: Dr. Swain on Being a Resurg…

For over six years, Dr. Bharatendu Swain has been a ReSurge International Surgical Outreach Partner. …

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

ReSurge International is an international global health organization driven to address surgical ineq …

In Good Hands: The Story of Young Bibas

“Other than the face, our hands are the most communicative part of our body when connecting to the o …

How ReSurge is Shaping the Future: A Conversation …

At ReSurge International, our reconstructive surgical care and training transforms the lives of thou …

Lawrence Cai: Meet the Laub Fellow Quantifying our…

The Donald R. Laub Fellowship program, named after our founder Don Laub, allows for a fourth-year re …

Volunteer Spotlight: Honoring The Golden Girls of …

It’s a sunny day at the Canyon Inn, a classic family diner decked in1970s sports memorabilia in Redw …

Donor Spotlight: How Women Surgeons in Los Angeles…

Empowered women empower women. Since we launched the Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWR …

Learning and Unlearning: Our DEI Journey

“The pandemic plus the national attention to matters of equity—including access to healthcare—have h …

Juneteenth National Independence Day Statement

On June 19, 2021 the United States will celebrate Juneteenth National Independence Day, as an offici …

Surgical Partner Profile: Matolase Mtonga

Dr. Matolase Mtonga always knew she wanted to be a surgeon. But as a medical student in Zambia she f …

Transformations: 2020 Annual Report

The year 2020 was unlike any other. We began on a high note, celebrating our 50th anniversary as the …

Standing in Solidarity with India and Nepal

Dear Friends and Colleagues, The current situation and devastation caused by the novel coronavirus i …

Hope in Nepal: A Mother and Baby’s Journey

A child born with a cleft lip in Nepal has a tough journey ahead. Difficulty breastfeeding and chron …

Volunteer Spotlight: Dharshan Sivaraj

At ReSurge International, we have the honor and privilege to work alongside many talented partners, …

Delali Attiogbe Attipoe Brings a Wealth of Experie…

In pursuit of finding a non-profit that shared her personal passion of expanding health access to th …

Making a Powerful Impact in Peru 

Dr. Percy Rossell-Perry, a practicing reconstructive surgeon at Edgardo Rebagliati Ho …

Board Spotlight: Meredith Taylor

A ReSurge Board Member since 2015, Meredith Taylor was recently named Chair of our Board of Director …

The Higgins-Shaw Nepal Microsurgery Fund 

None of our work would be possible without the steadfast support of you, our donors — together we’re …

Our Founder – Don Laub

Our Founder, Dr. Donald Laub  In 1969, a group of volunteers from the Bay Area’s Latin Ame …

Board Spotlight: Eileen Sheldon 

  Eileen Sheldon, ReSurge Board member, recently did a spectacular job chairing our T …

Volunteer Spotlight: Deb Rusy M.D

How did you hear about ReSurge and get involved? One of the University of Wisconsin pediatric neuros …

ReSurge Board Views Impact Up Close

In May, members of ReSurge’s board of directors visited our surgical outreach partner sites in Nepal …

Interview with New Laub Fellow, Chao Long

We are proud to introduce Chao Long, the newly selected Donald R. Laub Fellow. Named for our ReSurge …

Interview with Laub Fellow Dr. Anna Luan

Dr. Anna Luan recently completed the Donald R. Laub Fellowship. Named for our ReSurge founder and co …

Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Fossum

When ReSurge volunteer Sue Fossum first heard about ReSurge, she was working in the PACU at UC Davis …

Dr Hien Thi Nguyen Honored at Transformations Gala

Dr. Hien Thi Nguyen knew the rural poor of her country needed the medical services ReSurge provides. …

ReSurge, COSECSA Partner to Launch Initiative in S…

ReSurge is pleased to be launching a new initiative to increase access to safe reconstructive s …

What I Learned Firsthand on the Ground in Dehradun

By Tom Seery I spent the first days of 2020 in Dehradun, India as part of a visiting educator trip w …

Fiftieth Anniversary Flashback: The 1980’s

When Dr. Mark Singleton was asked to join a surgical mission trip in 1986, he was intrigued by the t …

Kathmandu Leadership Training

Last month, we packed our bags and headed to Kathmandu for a week of leadership training for the emp …

ReSurge and ASSH Volunteers Share Their Experience…

In May of this year, a medical team of hand surgeons and hand therapists traveled with ReSurge, in p …

Introducing Anna Luan, ReSurge’s Third Laub Fellow

We are proud to introduce Anna Luan, the newly selected Donald R. Laub Fellow. Named for our ReSurge …

Razia, Rohingya Refugee

Earlier this month, a ReSurge surgical mission trip visited Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, where we treat …

Ty, Acid Burn Survivor

Ty is a thirty-four-year-old woman with a beautiful smile. We treated her on a recent visit to Phan …

Helping India’s Children Heal From Burns

Meet Sheetal. At age 12, she was burned in a fire at her home where she lives with her widowed mothe …

Donor Spotlight: A Lesson in Karma

“If you do something good for others, something good will come to you.” This is how Anthony D. expla …

Cleft Palate Repair Follow Up in Vietnam

An important part of our mission is to provide reconstructive surgical care for poor children and ad …

Delivering Long-Term Impact Through Anesthesia Tra…

A well-known expert in pediatric anesthesiology, Dr. George Gregory has volunteered his skills with …

Dr. Shankar Man Rai Bio

Dr. Shankar Man Rai, a world-renowned expert at repairing clefts and burn injuries, has provided mor …

Dr. Pramila Shakya: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Shakya is a maxillofacial surgeon at the Nepal Cleft and Burn Center at Kirtipur Hospital in Kat …

Dr. Celma Issufo: Pioneering Women in Reconstructi…

Dr. Issufo is the plastic surgery service director at Mozambique’s Maputo Central Hospital. She trea …

Dr. Shilu Shrestha: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Shrestha is an orthopedic hand surgeon at the Hospital and Rehabilitation center for Disabled Ch …

Dr. Faith Muchemwa: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Muchemwa is a consultant plastic and reconstructive  surgeon, at Parirenyatwa Hospital at t …

Dr. Farzana Ibrahim: Pioneering Women in Reconstru…

Dr Ibrahim is a senior registrar in the plastic surgery department at Birdem General Hospital (Bangl …

Dr. Lorena EScudero: Pioneering Women in Reconstru…

Dr. Escudero is a plastic surgeon at Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the largest nonpro …

Training the Next Generation of Surgeons in Cuba

At the beginning of his career, Dr. Bill McClure was on track to become a cardiovascular surgeon–th …

Life-Changing Microsurgery in Nepal

In mid-July, ReSurge sent visiting educators Dr. Gordon Lee and Dr. Matthew Chetta to train local re …

Burn Care Education in Mozambique

In late August 2016, a visiting educator team made ReSurge’s inaugural visit to Mozambique, as part …

Improving Nursing and Specialty Care in Bhutan

ReSurge’s Visiting Educator trips to Bhutan are making an impact after just over a year working in t …

Creating Lasting Impact in Zambia

A patient story as told by Dr. Goran Jovic. At first, I did not notice anything unusual about him. I …

An Empowered Survivor | Kanchana

Kanchana is a bright young nurse in Sri Lanka. She graduated eleventh out of 30,000 nursing students …

Giving a Mother Peace of Mind

When baby Christine was born in central Zambia, her mother immediately noticed that something was wr …

Reconnecting with Lilliam After More Than 10 Years

The year was 1987, and Marlon and Violeta in Nicaragua were like any other parents of a new baby gir …

Making Dreams Possible | Tonmoy

Tonmoy was living the life of a typical 6-year-old boy—climbing trees and running around. One day, w …

Back to School Despite His Disability | Alam

Alam lives in an apartment building in Dhaka, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. …

Regaining the Ability to Walk | Mohammed Hussein

Mohammed Hussein was just 7 years old when the accident occurred that left him on crutches. He was p …

12 Years After Cleft Lip Surgery

Ganesh is 14 years old. Despite living in a small rural village of Nepal, he dreams of becoming a do …

The Road to Hope | Priyanka

Vijay arises early, before the sun is up, and gently wakes his daughter Priyanka. She looks into his …

A Glimpse into Man Kumari’s life

Outside Bharatapur, a southern crossroads town where Nepal’s east and west meet on the nation’s main …

A bright Future | Kalus

Kalus is an 8-year-old boy from a small village between Pokhara and Kathmandu in Nepal, who could no …

Creatively Treating Acute Burns | Astha

Astha, a baby girl in Nepal, fell from her mother’s lap into a fire during a traditional ceremony wh …

Freeing Sirisu’s Hand

Sirisu is a charming 4-year-old from Nepal who accidentally scalded his arm while making hot food fo …

Restoring future dreams | Rinchin

Rinchin, 13, wants to be a movie star. He is one of the patients we met recently when students from …

Without Surgery, School Was Not Within His Reach |…

Four-year-old Nguyen was born with three of his fingers fused on each hand, a congenital birth defec …

Helping Mother and Child | Hoa & Hoai

Hoa, a young mother, knew intimately the stigma of a cleft lip as she had been born with one herself …

A Family Renewed | Thi

The ReSurge team fell in love with 3-month-old Thi Ngol Quyen during a trip to Vietnam in April 2013 …

A Contracture Released, A Life Renewed | Quynh

Like more than 2 billion people worldwide, Quynh’s family in Vietnam does their cooking over open fi …

Mom and My | A Mother’s Hope

Sixteen-month-old My and her mother, Hat, live in Quy Nhon, on Vietnam’s eastern coast. When Hat was …

A Mother’s Dedication | Y Dim

Y Dim, now 2 years old, was born in the rural mountains of Vietnam with a cleft lip. After she was b …

A Smile 58 Years in the Making | Tam

On a surgical team trip to Quy Nhon, Vietnam, we met Tam, a man who has been waiting 58 years to hav …

Removing Stigma | Huynh

Five-year-old Huynh was born in a small village in Vietnam with a condition known as congenital hair …

The Character and Spirit of Hasan

Hasan is a daughter, a sister, a mother and at the moment, our patient. Hasan’s smile is a clear win …

An Emotional Return to India | Nisha

I’ve been looking forward to returning to Dehradun because I would finally get the opportunity to re …

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Do You See What I See? ReSurge Incorporates Augmented Reality Technology

Do You See What I See? ReSurge Incorporates Augmented Reality Technology

USA Headquarters
November 2, 2021

ReSurge International is proud to partner with Ohana One International Surgical Aid, a global surgical training nonprofit organization whose mission is to cultivate high-quality surgical and anesthesia programs in developing areas around the world today. As part of their Surgical Sight program, ReSurge is among 14 non-profits that will be receiving Vuzix Smart Glasses, a technology that connects surgeons in low-income countries with experts from around the world with Augmented Reality (AR) technology.  

 The glasses use what’s known as “merged reality” so that the mentee can wear the glasses, and the mentor, sitting thousands of miles away can actually insert their hand into the mentee’s field of vision, as pictured below. In this way, ReSurge surgical mentors will see exactly what surgeons in the operating rooms are seeing, giving them the opportunity to guide and teach in real-time during surgical procedures.

Hands of ReSurge Consulting Medical Officer Dr. Jim Chang and Donald Laub fellow Anna Luan using the smart glasses to connect from two separate locations.

 

Through this groundbreaking program, surgical mentors and mentees worldwide can virtually train and operate together, in real-time, using revolutionary Vuzix Corporation smart glasses and Help Lightning software. This ongoing partnership supports mentees as they learn essential, life-saving skills and build self-reliance. Eventually, they can share what they have learned and train surgeons on their own, creating ripples of change that will save countless lives.

The Surgical Sight program is the brainchild of Dr. David Kulber, a ReSurge volunteer who started Ohana One. Dr. Kulber currently does this mentoring via Smart Glasses with our ReSurge surgical outreach partner Pedro Santos in Mozambique.

“The success of the first mentor/mentee program culminated with Dr. Santos passing his COSECSA boards for the first time while ranking second in all of Africa, and having other doctors wanting to volunteer,” states Kulber. “This experience created the nucleus to roll out a broader and more robust program so that physicians all over the world who work in limited-resource countries can have access to mentor/mentee relationships, which go beyond education and create deep personal bonds on a global scale.”

Other ReSurge partners in this program include: 

      • India: Dr. Kush Aeron, partnered with Dr. Marshall of Partington Private Practice, Partington Plastic Surgery & Laser Center
      • Uganda: Dr. Rose Aleyno, partnered with Dr. Cooney of Johns Hopkins University
      • Nepal: Dr. Shilu Shrestha (also a PWRS surgeon), partnered with Dr. Rod Hentz of Stanford University
      • Nepal: Dr. Pramila Shakya (also a PWRS surgeon), partnered with Dr. Lori Howell of Oregon Health and Science University
      • Tanzania: Dr. Seif Nuru (also a ReSurge scholar), partnered with Dr. Chris Conner of Private Practice, Vitalogy Skincare
      • Vietnam: Trung Hậu Le Thua, partnered with Dr. Dung Nguyen of Stanford University
      • Zimbabwe: Dr. Kevin Nduku, partnered with Dr. Gordon Lee of Stanford University

ReSurge is working with Ohana One to kick off the pilot program in full, now that most of the Surgical Sight Program pairs have received their VUZIX smartglasses and the associated training. During this pilot stage, ReSurge hopes to provide valuable feedback in order to grow the program and ultimately build surgical knowledge and capacity around the world, a core mission for both organizations.

We are excited about the potential impact of the program, as Dr. Pedro Santos has said that through Dr. Kulber’s mentorship, he has “been able to treat over 20 cases of complex reconstructions. However, the principles that have been passed on to me have allowed me to treat far more patients without Dr. Kulber’s guidance on the other side of the line. This is an easily reproducible model that can have a significant impact on surgeons and patients’ lives and should be used to improve patient care worldwide.”

“I feel this program is awesome and helps the surgeons from underdeveloped countries to have mentors from all over the world and share their expertise. It has helped me do the surgery, which would not have been possible without the guidance of my mentor Dr. Hentz. I feel very thankful to all the people involved in this program for helping me and my patients.” – Dr. Shrestha

 

The Ohana One and ReSurge partnership provides “great potential for altering the concept and logistics of surgical volunteerism.” – Dr. Rob Hentz

ReSurge is very grateful to Ohana One for sharing this extraordinary technology with us so that we can bring our surgical community closer together.

*This post was updated November, 2, 2021

 

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Zimbabwe,
October 28, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the global surgery sector hard. All international travel was canceled and elective surgeries were put on hold, contributing to what would become one of the largest surgical backlogs of our time. At ReSurge, we turned the challenges of a global pandemic into an opportunity to inspire, train, fund, and scale more reconstructive surgical teams around the world than ever before. How were we able to do this? There is no one better to tell that story than Dr. Tinga Nyoni, a ReSurge partner and scholar from Zimbabwe who not only passed her boards, but also received the highest score across the 14 countries comprising the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) — all during a pandemic.

Dr. Nyoni is part of our ReSurge International Program in Africa (RIPA), a program we started to address the severe shortage of reconstructive surgeons in the region. She is also a COSECSA fellow and a member of the second cohort of Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWRS), a program created by ReSurge and SkinCeuticals to support and empower women in the field of reconstructive surgery.

“When the pandemic started, most of the reconstructive surgery cases weren’t being done because most of the big hospitals went into emergency mode,” Dr. Nyoni explained. “This not only created a backlog of surgeries, but stopped trainees from getting time in operating rooms, which meant we were unable to learn how to perform surgeries, and be properly prepared for our board exams.”

When COVID19 restricted travel, ReSurge quickly pivoted to a robust virtual training program. Over the course of the year, we delivered 98 virtual lectures to more than 2,800 overseas trainees across 31 countries. This dramatic shift was critical in ensuring emerging medical professionals like Dr. Nyoni could still benefit from the teachings of our world-renowned surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, nurses and physical therapists, even while they couldn’t get all of the normal hands-on training they typically would receive. Dr. James Chang, ReSurge’s Chief Consulting Medical Officer and the Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University, led small group board prep sessions for Zimbabwe’s COSECSA trainees.

Dr. Chang personally mentored Dr. Nyoni, helping her prepare for her boards when getting operating time was impossible. In fact, Dr. Nyoni credits her one-on-one mentoring with Dr. Chang as a large part of how she received the highest score in the region. She says the changes ReSurge made were an important pivot, “instead of having everything go to a standstill, ReSurge has had a great impact.”

Watch Dr. Chang interview Dr. Nyoni at the ReSure Virtual Transformations Gala

Dr. Nyoni originally got involved in ReSurge by attending workshops when a visiting educator team would work in the OR at her hospital in Harare, performing surgeries while also training local surgeons in special cases. Her supervisor was a member of the first PWRS cohort and suggested she would make an excellent member.

As a woman in the surgical field, Dr. Nyoni appreciates having a community of women who are there to support each other, “Through the PWRS program, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of female surgeons who are in a similar situation as I am. It’s nice to get to know people and to know that you’re not the only one on the continent suffering from the same issues.” She says that ReSurge is helping her see what’s possible for her, and for the future of women surgeons. “I have a mentor, Dr. Paige Fox of Stanford University, who is a hand surgeon that ReSurge connected me with. What’s nice is that she’s also a woman and it’s very encouraging to see that a woman can be so big in her field. It gives me inspiration.”

While Dr. Nyoni is now one of only three reconstructive surgeons in the country of Zimbabwe, she continues to look for ways she can further help meet her community’s needs, and she plans to train in hand surgery, stating, “It’s a field that doesn’t have any specialists in Zimbabwe. It’s an area that is lacking and a lot of people may not get to use their hands because people get unnecessary amputations or they end up with a stiff hand that might have been treated better and therefore usable.”

Dr. Nyoni looks forward to a time when current trainees can become trainers as well, when they can create outreach programs and go to rural communities, to do workshops where there are smaller hospitals, so patients don’t need to be referred to big cities like Harare for surgery.

“What I’d like people to know is, ReSurge’s training model is making quite a big impact. And it’s something that I hope not only continues but becomes a lot more ingrained into our programs. I do hope this continues because there are other surgeons that are coming down the pipeline that would benefit from ReSurge just as much as I have benefited from them, so I urge them not to stop, not to give up.”

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Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date on the latest happenings at Resurge International. Join our Community!
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Pride Has Nothing to Do With It: Dr. Swain on Being a Resurge Humanitarian and Partner

Pride Is Not a Factor: Dr. Swain on Being a Resurge Humanitarian and Partner

India,
October 14, 2021

For over six years, Dr. Bharatendu Swain has been a ReSurge International Surgical Outreach Partner. He is a skilled reconstructive surgeon and founder of the Aakar Asha Hospital in Hyderabad, India, a completely charitable hospital focused on deformity correction. We are so proud to support Dr. Swain’s incredible work. His passion for his patients runs deep, providing them hope and opportunities for the future. In fact, a former patient even became a nurse at his hospital after his life-changing care!

Dr. Swain is an advocate for equal access for medical training and education, ensuring that all have access, and not just those with the financial means. To combat this inequality, he created his own surgical skills training program. Dr. Swain is a wonderful example of the passionate, driven, and dedicated surgeons that ReSurge has partnered with and we look forward to continuing to help him in his efforts at Aakar Asha Hospital.

We caught up with Dr. Swain to learn more about this incredibly compassionate surgeon, ReSurge partner, and hospital founder.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
After I finished my reconstructive surgery training, I spent time in Adelaide, Australia and the UK before going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I eventually returned to India where I did some work as a lecturer. In 2001, I started a charitable trust doing reconstructive surgery camps annually and then monthly. In 2012, I began work creating a charitable hospital in Hyderabad. We now have a charitable hospital with 130 beds and that is where I currently practice surgery and treat patients.

What made you want to go into medicine?
That was actually an accident! I didn’t want to do medicine at all. I was originally a philosophy student. My mother somehow tricked me into taking the medical student exam. I ended up passing and going to medical school. It has been a great journey and ended up being one of the best and most fulfilling paths I could go down.

Why did you decide to pursue training in reconstructive surgery in particular?
You’ll often find that many surgical students entering the reconstructive surgery field have the misconception that they are entering a plastic surgery program, focusing primarily on aesthetic surgery instead of cases with serious injuries or trauma. I actually had the same misconception. I was exposed to reconstructive surgery thanks to a friend of mine who invited me to his hospital as an observer. After I saw the difference surgery made in the lives of his patients, I knew this path was much more complex and meaningful than what I was doing at the time. People often hear plastic surgery and think of aesthetic things involving Botox and the like, but that isn’t what I do. I get to help people live fulfilling lives and give them long-term results. Patients that I see will have a higher quality of life not just in the year after they receive surgery but in 20 or 50 years down the line.

How did you become involved with ReSurge?
I originally became aware of ReSurge when a team visited in 2012. It was a great opportunity to understand the goals of ReSurge’s work, which included helping with surgeries, but also providing training to those in the areas they visit. A few years later, I was invited to give a presentation in Kathmandu, Nepal to explain my work with ReSurge and our hospital. I was excited about the opportunities and resources that a partnership would provide.

What are you most proud of as a reconstructive surgeon?

That’s a really funny question to me, because I would honestly say nothing. Pride is not a factor for me. The work I do is humbling. Because the hospital is charitable, many of our patients are very poor and often in pretty bad condition from their deformities or injuries. I try to view their situation from their point of view, removing any pride I have from my education or profession. What matters is that my patients have good outcomes and good futures.

Dr. Swain and a patient post tumor removal.

What types of reconstructive surgeries do you perform the most?
The most common patients I see are birth differences and burn deformities, particularly on the hands. These injuries are often on people under 18 years old. Since they cannot afford medical care, we often also see these deformities have gone untreated for long periods of time creating problems in their daily lives.

What patient stands out to you the most and why?
I have treated so many patients, and I like to think that each of their stories is important. Although, one does stand out. I once treated a very young girl from a poor village who had fallen into a fire. She was very badly burned, particularly around her hands. The surgery went well, and she was able to write and go back to school. Many years later, I was back in the village doing a research study when I came across that same girl. I asked her what she was doing with her life and she said she had decided to become a nurse after her experience as a child. I was very impressed and happy with her career choice and told her that if she finished her nursing courses to contact me. She did eventually finish, and we were able to get her to come work at the hospital with us. When she began working, I had trouble with my patients accepting her due to the scarring from her childhood injury. If they asked to be assigned to a different nurse, I would tell them, “Just give her some time. If you still don’t want her, we will get you a new nurse.” When I would come back to check on these patients, she would have them eating out of her palm! She was a great nurse and became a favorite among the patients. Her story is a great example of the stigma that many patients have to overcome, but how these reconstructive procedures can truly change a patient’s life and ability to function. This story is one of my favorites because it shows the possibilities and futures that are given to our patients when they have successful operations.

What challenges do surgeons in India face?
A big challenge in India is the lack of access to education for future doctors or surgeons. Only people who have enough money to pay for the schooling and expenses can receive medical training. If someone has the drive and smarts to become a doctor, they should be allowed to! However, costs often stop these aspiring students. Another struggle for these students is location. If they are in an area with limited educational resources then they won’t be able to get the training in the specialties they need.

How does ReSurge help you address challenges in your country and in your practice?
Working with ReSurge has helped make my 130-bed hospital for deformity correction fully charitable. Creating a completely charitable hospital is not easy because everything costs money. Operating on people without cost is my passion. I am able to provide affordable, safe surgery for patients with burns deformities due to ReSurge’s support.

What type of training does ReSurge offer to your team and staff?
During COVID-19, ReSurge has offered online virtual trainings and grand rounds. They have been great resources for me and my team. I try to attend all of them!

How has COVID-19 affected your work and your patients?
India has struggled with COVID-19 due to limited medical resources and hospital beds. We rose to meet the COVID-19 challenge setting up a 23-bed ICU and 32-bed step down ward with funding from the community. Our reconstructive surgery work reduced for 2 months and has increased since then. Our outreach program evolved from periodic camps to that of continuous, remote identification across geographies.

What are your goals for the future of reconstructive surgery in your country?
I talked before about access to education. I started a medical training program in 2001 for medical students who couldn’t afford expensive training courses in basic surgical skills. I used core principles and local resources to overcome challenges. We had to get creative. For instance, we used chicken skin to teach suturing techniques. It is essential we open up more educational opportunities. A goal for the future of my country is expanding education, particularly in medical specialties, to more people. As access to health evolves, we are preparing to widen our reconstructive surgery efforts to include the poor across India.

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