Operation of Hope comes to Bulawayo
Mpilo Hospital situated in Bulawayo Zimbabwe is one of the biggest Hospitals in Africa.The Out Patient Department of Mpilo Hospital is usually non operational during Saturday and Sunday leaving the casual department to attend to all emergencies. However Sunday the second of October presented an Out- Patient department was lively with adults and children tormented by cleft lip, palate and other facial deformities that needed surgical corrections.
As early as six o clock in the morning people travelling from Plumtree, Tsholotsho, Binga, Masvingo and remote Chipinge were already waiting patiently to be screened nevertheless worried they may be turned away due to various reasons. The Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Bulawayo, namely Dr Maks, PAG Nhando, PE Catherine Munyenyiwa PN Bongani Constance Ndlovu,joined them to give their support and be of assistance to the Operation of Hope Team. We were also joined by Rotaractor Muzi Ndlovu from the Rotaract Club of Bulawayo as well as Rotaractor Stewart Chipato from the Rotaract Club of Borrowdale.
I spoke to Gogo Dube ( not her real name).She had come all the way from Masvingo with her grandson. She narrated to me of how she had heard about how the kind surgeons of Operation of Hope and how they had managed to reverse severe cases of deformities. Her grandson Petros(not his real name) had a cleft lip and deformation of the palate as well. She described how eating was difficult for the boy, as food would come through the nose- a horrific sight. Gogo Dube went on to share with me the ever present imminent danger of choking and the breathing challenges young Petros experienced while sleeping.
There was a teenage boy who had also traveled from Mt Darwin who was a victim of a lightning bolt. He had experienced third degree burns, but I could not tell as he was now coming for a review having been operated on by Operation of Hope previously. The Operation of Hope surgeons did a miraculous skin graft and was now able to be independent and fully capacitated.
“Hi Grace, and how are you?” said one of the surgeons to Grace during screening. Thirteen year old Grace, appearing very shy smiled back with tears streaming down her eyes “am fine” she said struggling hard to conceal her cleft lip. Grace had been abandoned by her mother at birth unable to come to terms with the deformity. The doctor assured Grace, that the following days save for the pain, she will have a normal smile and be a testimony, that a cleft lip can always be restored to a normal lip.
I could see the patients exchanging stories of encouragement and even revealing the extent of deformities to each other as they waited to be screened. They all did not travel in vain as the President of Operation of Hope Jennifer Trubenbach ensured all cases were reviewed and admissions for surgery done.
There was lunch too for the patients, guardians and everyone who was in attendance.
Well done Operation of Hope, Rotary Club of Bulawayo, Rotary Club of Borrowdale and the Gift of Givers Foundation.