42 Zimbabweans receive new smiles after ‘miracle’ surgeries

42 Zimbabweans are sporting new smiles after a week of life-changing, free surgeries by the Operation of Hope team.

The team of medical professionals from the US arrived in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the month to prepare for the surgeries, offered free of charge to adults and children with facial disfigurements.

Potential patients from across the country made their way to the Harare Central Hospital on August 4th for a pre-surgery screening, and by August 9th 42 adults and children had new smiles.

The Operation of Hope team was assisted by the Rotary Clubs of Avondale and Borrowdale Brooke. Rotary’s Stewart Chipato told SW Radio Africa that the experience “was very emotional and very moving.”

“The week was very short and unfortunately there were some sad cases with one or two children who couldn’t have the surgeries because they weren’t in a good condition. But the Operation of Hope team will be back next April, so hopefully those children will get another chance,” Chipato said.

He explained that the transformations he witnessed were “so moving”, but added that the lasting memory was the “huge smiles on these children even before they had new smiles to show.” “It is just so marvelous and miraculous,” Chipato said.

Operation of Hope was last in Zimbabwe in July 2012. During that visit, the team of international doctors and surgeons performed 52 facial reconstructive operations. The August mission was the 13th since Operation of Hope first started coming to Zimbabwe in 2006, and to date more than 720 free surgeries have been performed in the country. – SW Radio Africa

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