About 358 genocide survivors were screened for free plastic surgery on minor and major scars during a ten-day exercise dubbed; “The 2013 Rotary Medical Mission to Rwanda for Plastic Surgery” at the Central University Hospital of Kigali (CHUK).
Of these, 74 were treated for scars inflicted by major injuries, 68 for minor injuries, while 54 were counseled and sent back home, according to Theobald Hategekimana, the director of CHUK.
The free plastic surgery was offered by visiting Indian and Nigerian surgeons courtesy of Rotary Medical Mission.
“A number of those who received operations for major scars are going to be in hospital for between 10 to 14 days as we continue to monitor them but most of them have already gone home,” Dr Hategekimana said.
Rajendra Saboo, who led eight surgeons and seven volunteers, said they were privileged to respond to the request by the Minister for Health. He they carried out the operations to their best.
“This is my second time in Rwanda and we have developed a special relationship with the country,” Saboo said.
Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Health minister, said Rwandans are not prisoners of their past and those with physical scars should have a chance to get the them fixed.
“We have to work together and help the affected recover,” said Binagwaho.
Beransira Bagirinka, a 73-year-old Bugesera resident who sustained burns during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, received a skin graft operation.
She said she is among the luckiest people in the world and thanked the doctors for a job well done done.
“These people have wiped away my tears, God bless them and Rwanda,” she said.