ReSurge International Program in Africa Expands Access to Reconstructive Surgical Care

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ReSurge International has launched an initiative to increase access to safe reconstructive surgical care in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. 

ReSurge International is a global nonprofit specializing in reconstructive surgery.

The organization notes that 18 million people die annually due to surgically treatable conditions and millions more suffer with preventable disabilities. According to The Lancet, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 93% of the population lacks access to safe, affordable and timely surgical care.

"While we have been working in this area of the world since 1999, we have wanted to expand our presence and our ability to build surgical capacity in bolder ways for many years," said president and CEO of ReSurge, Jeff Whisenant.

The ReSurge International Program in Africa (RIPA) increases the pipeline of medical professionals to provide reconstructive plastic surgery in the region and provides financial support to qualified reconstructive surgeons in the region who provide care for the poor.

To develop and orchestrate RIPA and the goal of building surgical capacity across Africa, ReSurge has partnered with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSESCA). The COSECSA region of 14 sub-Saharan countries has a serious shortage of care, with approximately one plastic surgeon for every 10 million people. 

RIPA is already making progress in the following areas:

  • Reconstructive Surgery Scholarships
  • International Fellowships
  • Regional Study Exchanges within Africa
  • Visiting Educator Trips
  • Surgical Outreach Partners
  • E-Learning Centers
  • Train-the-Trainer Conference

"This pandemic has taught us is the importance of focusing on local capacity building and thinking outside the box for unique ways we can connect with people," said Natalie Meyers, ReSurge's director of global advocacy and Africa program. "RIPA and the reach it has will ultimately help a tremendous number of people in need of safe surgery."

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