News and Updates

Operation of Hope provides 68 life-changing surgeries in Zimbabwe

They had 12 days and 68 reconstructive surgeries to perform on 48 underprivileged children in two hospitals in Zimbabwe – Mpilo and Harare Central. The surgeries ranged from unilateral and bilateral cleft lips to cleft palates. The youngest sufferer was just five months old. The patient list also had children with burns, malformations and deformities.

It was an intense and busy time, but thanks to the dedication and compassion of the surgeons and medical team from the US-based Operation of Hope, they achieved all that and so much more. It transformed the children’s lives and given them a shot at a better future.

The giving also included learning. Nursing staff in the hospitals, both in the theatre and in the ward, grabbed every opportunity to learn best practices from the Operation of Hope team. Both teams collaborated on the different approaches, challenges and techniques between North American and Zimbabwean healthcare delivery.

Dr Wayne Manama, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon practicing in Zimbabwe and South Africa said, “I’ve had a rare privilege to shadow the tutelage and mentorship of some of the leading cleft and craniofacial surgeons. Many surgeons would pay a fortune to travel abroad to learn such advanced techniques, but for me the opportunity found me in the comfort of my home hospital. I’m forever grateful for the skills transfer from the Operation of Hope team.”

Operation of Hope, a non-profit, all-volunteer organisation, travels to under-served countries on reconstructive surgery missions for children suffering from facial deformities and burns. Since 2006, the charity has completed 28 missions in Zimbabwe, providing free cleft lip and palate surgeries to over 5,000 Zimbabweans. They intend to return to Zimbabwe in 2020 to perform more surgeries and to train local surgeons and other medical professionals.

The Emirates Airline Foundation, which sponsored the travel for the Operation of Hope team, salutes them and other charities that have become life-savers and game-changers in the lives of underprivileged children.

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