Transformations: 2020 Annual Report

Transformations: 2020 Annual Report

USA Headquarters
June 14, 2021

The year 2020 was unlike any other. We began on a high note, celebrating our 50th anniversary as the world’s first humanitarian surgical organization. Then came the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes. Yet in the face of this enormous challenge, ReSurge has seen incredible innovation and impact from our medical partners and volunteers. All the qualities that have helped them succeed in their mission—resourcefulness, dedication to their patients, inventiveness—are helping us weather this difficult time and even find some new tools that we’ll carry with us into the future.

We recently shared our latest annual report, and as we reflect on the last fiscal year we wanted to share a few highlights of impact, innovation, compassion, and resilience:

    • People like you donated over $4.1 Million, which made it possible to complete 2,587 surgeries for 1,505 patients across 17 countries. These surgeries were life changing for children like Jacob, a 10-year-old from Tanzania who was burned so badly he did not have enough healthy skin to use for grafting. But together, his mother and ReSurge’s Dr. Seif Nuru, made the impossible possible. Read his story on page 10 of our annual report.
    • Medical professionals donated almost 5,000 hours and trained 636 local medical professionals in their home countries across the globe. In fact, 93% of the year’s surgeries were completed by the local medical professionals who were trained by ReSurge International. Matolase Mtonga, for example, is soon to be the first female reconstructive surgeon in Zambia and is highlighted on page 13.
    • Sub-saharan Africa has perhaps the most acute shortage of reconstructive surgical care in the world. The ReSurge International Program in Africa (RIPA) is tackling this deficit in innovative ways in the midst of a global pandemic. Learn how we are building capacity and momentum on page 16.

Read our 2020 Annual Report  

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Latest Stories

Patient Stories

Stories from the Field

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 …

Do You See What I See? 

ReSurge is proud to announce our collaboration with Ohana One International Surgical Aid,  …

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 …

A mother’s fierce hope | Basanti

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

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 …

Standing in Solidarity with India and Nepal

Standing in Solidarity with India and Nepal

USA Headquarters
May 25, 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The current situation and devastation caused by the novel coronavirus in India is unprecedented and beyond heartbreaking. India is in the midst of a great humanitarian and healthcare emergency, and cases in neighboring Nepal are also surging at an equally alarming rate.

At ReSurge International, we have deep personal and professional ties in South Asia. We have worked in  Nepal, one of our oldest and largest outreach programs, for over 30 years. In India, we have treated over 3,000 patients through decades of programs and partnerships across seven cities. Many of our volunteers and supporters have traveled with us to India and Nepal over the years and experienced this work and our incredibly talented local partners firsthand.

Our roots run deep in this part of the world, and so do our hearts. So many of our dearest ReSurge International colleagues and partners are living, working, and dealing with this current crisis situation in India and Nepal. On behalf of all of us at ReSurge, we send you our love, support, and deepest condolences.

The most vulnerable around the world are the ones that bear the greatest burden, especially in times of instability and crisis. This is what motivates us to do the work that we do in global reconstructive surgery, and we are proud of all the work that our staff, partners, and colleagues are doing globally to both, directly and indirectly, provide life-changing care for those in need.

Our hearts are with you during this time of suffering and loss.

In Solidarity,

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

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 …

Do You See What I See? 

ReSurge is proud to announce our collaboration with Ohana One International Surgical Aid,  …

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 …

A mother’s fierce hope | Basanti

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

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 …

Hope in Nepal: A Mother and Baby’s Journey

Hope in Nepal: A Mother and Baby’s Journey

Nepal,
May 24, 2021

A child born with a cleft lip in Nepal has a tough journey ahead. Difficulty breastfeeding and chronic malnutrition are immediate concerns that are only exacerbated by poverty and a global pandemic. Left untreated, a cleft can cause multiple speech, dental, and ear problems. Many women and children are shunned from their communities, and the chance at a self-sufficient life, due to the stigma of congenital conditions.

The family of Arush, a 5-month-old baby girl born with a cleft lip, knew just how difficult it would be for their firstborn daughter to live a productive life with her cleft lip in their small village. Together, they decided to risk everything and make the 12-hour journey from the Eastern low hills of Nepal to a ReSurge partner in Kathmandu for the chance at a life-changing surgery.

Every parent wants what is best for their child, and Arush’s parents were determined. They made it to the capital, right before the horrific second wave of COVID-19 surged through Nepal. But the journey didn’t end there. There was a problem.

On the day of the surgery, something wasn’t right. Even though Arush’s blood report was normal, the doctors noticed that she was beginning to run a slight fever. Concerned for her safety and the safety of the medical team, Arush was given a COVID-19 test. She was positive. Going through with the surgery would put Arush’s life in danger, and the family would have to wait for her to recover before they could proceed. All of this was happening as the entire nation started to move into a lockdown due to the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases. The family was stranded, but they were not alone.

Dr. Pramila Shakya Performs Surgery on Arush

Luckily, our surgical outreach partners in Nepal understood the predicament Arush’s family was facing. They were able to find a partner organization to house Arush and her mother while her father returned home to work to provide for the family. After six long weeks of waiting, Arush finally tested negative. Acting quickly, the doctor advocated for the 5-month-old and performed the surgery that same day. Arush’s mother was overjoyed that this long journey had finally come to an end. She and her daughter are doing well and plan to return home once the lockdown is lifted.

Arush’s journey did not begin and end with one cleft lip surgery. Every step of the way, she needed people to take care of her and advocate for her needs. Thank you to our ReSurge partners and programs for making this possible!

Many children like Arush are not able to access life-changing reconstructive surgery. We need your help now, more than ever. Click below to make a donation.

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Latest Stories

Patient Stories

Stories from the Field

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 …

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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 …

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The Higgins-Shaw Nepal Microsurgery Fund 

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

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

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ReSurge is proud to announce our collaboration with Ohana One International Surgical Aid,  …

Board Spotlight: Eileen Sheldon 

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Deb Rusy M.D

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

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

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

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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

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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

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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 …

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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 …

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

The Incredible Impact | Punkaj

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

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

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

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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 …

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Jacob’s Arms are Freed

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Hands & Father’s Hope

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Volunteer Spotlight: MedicaDharshan Sivaraj

Volunteer Spotlight: Dharshan Sivaraj

USA Headquarters
May 24, 2021

At ReSurge International, we have the honor and privilege to work alongside many
talented partners, staff, and volunteers around the world who are committed to our
mission of making life-changing reconstructive surgery accessible to all. Dharshan
Sivaraj, a ReSurge International Medical Student Volunteer, is an example of this
commitment in action.

Dharshan is currently a medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine.
While completing his undergraduate education at Duke University, he had the
opportunity to spend time in Ukraine and Tanzania doing global health research with the
Duke Global Cancer Initiative. These experiences led him to the understanding that he
wanted to incorporate some degree of global work into his future career.

This interest in global work led Dharshan to Dr. James Chang, Johnson & Johnson
Distinguished Professor at Stanford University, and our Consulting Medical Officer here
at ReSurge. Dharshan watched one of Dr. Chang’s lectures at a Stanford Medicine
Grand Rounds, in which he discussed Stanford’s history of efforts in global
reconstructive surgery as well as his own experiences volunteering and going overseas
to work in low-income countries. It was then that he decided he wanted to help
contribute to ReSurge’s overall aim of building global reconstructive surgical capacity.

The capacity development angle of our work at ReSurge was of particular interest to
Dharshan. His main volunteer project since starting with ReSurge has been to assist in the development of ReSurge’s global training curriculum by establishing a video lecture
library of all virtual training sessions given by ReSurge faculty thus far. The goal was to
create a searchable library of lecture videos encompassing many different areas of
global reconstructive surgery. The creation of this learning resource was started at the
beginning of 2020, and surgical outreach partners and medical trainees around the
world now have access to over 115 lectures and narrated curricula to supplement their
education. This archive of learning resources will continue to expand over the coming
years as additional lectures are given by ReSurge faculty.

Click the below button to check out the database. Use the password “Resurgelearning”
to access all lectures.

Visit the Database
 

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

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 …

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“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 

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Board Spotlight: Meredith Taylor

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The Higgins-Shaw Nepal Microsurgery Fund 

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

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

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ReSurge is proud to announce our collaboration with Ohana One International Surgical Aid,  …

Board Spotlight: Eileen Sheldon 

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Deb Rusy M.D

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

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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 …

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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 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 …

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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 …

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Board Spotlight: Delali Attiogbe Attipoe

Delali Attiogbe Attipoe Brings a Wealth of Experience in Global Health

USA Headquarters
March 31, 2021
Delali Attiogbe Attipoe

In pursuit of finding a non-profit that shared her personal passion of expanding health access to those in need, Delali Attiogbe Attipoe attended a Board Match San Francisco event and fortuitously met ReSurge President and CEO Jeff Whisenant and ReSurge Chief Operations Officer Beverly Kent. 

“We had a wonderful conversation about the misnomer that the bulk of health needs in low to middle income countries comes from diseases such as TB, HIV and malaria,” said Delali. “When in fact the focus should be on non-communicable factors, especially the lack of medical professionals available to address accidents, burn and other maladies. When I learned about the work that ReSurge was doing, I knew I had found my match.”

It was indeed the perfect match! Given Delali’s extensive experience in global health, especially in East Africa, she brings a unique, priceless perspective to the ReSurge Board of Directors. Delali is first generation, born in Kansas to a family originally from Ghana.  As a child, Delali lived all over the world and was exposed to a number of different cultures. She credits her interest in international healthcare to her vast travels and living abroad. 

Delali began her career in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry working for Genentech, a Roche company. She eventually moved over to Roche where she worked in East Africa as the head of six countries seeking to expand healthcare access through private/public partnerships. 

Eventually, Delali moved back to the U.S. and joined 54gene as the chief operating officer.  This unique company’s goal is to build one of the world’s most diverse datasets in order to equalize precision medicine. 54gene is doing this by focusing primarily on the genomic data of the African population. Through her work, Delali has been able to translate some of her learnings into key lessons for ReSurge as the organization expands work in Sub-Saharan Africa through the RIPA program.  

“ReSurge is appropriately focusing on medical training through the RIPA program,” said Delali. “Other organizations come into Africa and provide surgeries, but then leave without training the surgical teams on the ground so they can continue the work. The ReSurge model is a more effective medical ecosystem in that it trains-the-trainer and provides long-lasting impact. It goes back to the biblical lesson of not just giving someone a fish, but teaching someone to fish so they can take care of themselves long after you’re gone. We will see a powerful evolution in building surgical capacity in Africa thanks to the RIPA program.”   

Delali also applauds ReSurge’s all-disciplinary approach.  She pointed out how ReSurge is training not only surgeons, but also other health professionals such as anesthesiologists and nurses, creating a true wrap around solution that equips the whole surgical team with the skills they need to provide safe procedures.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to slowly wane in the U.S., Delali emphasized the importance of in-person connection between ReSurge and our African partners.

“ReSurge has done an amazing job pivoting to virtual trainings during COVID,” said Delali.  “We’ve realized that we can bring so many more medical professionals into the surgical ecosystem. But a hybrid model will be essential in building trust and meaningful relationships with our African partners.  Working with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) is a great first step, but it is also essential to engage the government and other public/private organizations to create a sustainable framework. Word of the program will travel fast and the ReSurge reputation will spread to other communities. I am excited to travel to Africa with ReSurge one day to see this awesome program in action.” 

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