Lifeline For Mpilo Patients As UZ Surgeons Offer Free Plastic Surgery

15 patients from Bulawayo’s Mpilo Hospital last week got free plastic surgery from a team of University of Zimbabwe surgeons.

By Faith Zvorufura

Speaking during  tour of Mpilo hospital by the surgeons, Clinical Director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said it would be the first time these surgeries have been carried out outside Harare.

“We managed to screen 40 patients and performed 15 surgeries for our first batch, said Dr Ngwenya.

Prof Godfrey Muguti from the University of Zimbabwe Medical School who led a team of six surgeons to Mpilo hospital said plastic surgery is in great demand in the country

“This service is in demand and at the moment we are not copying. It is only done in Harare and people have to travel long distances to access it at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals,” said Prof Muguti after a theatre session.

He said lack of funding was their biggest challenge saying plastic and reconstructive surgery have not been available to the public in Zimbabwe.

“Funding is one of the major obstacles as it inhibits a lot of milestones to be reached with this project. Funding is needed for development and expertise. Resources are needed to buy material that is required for the procedures and lots of hospitals already lack this material that should be readily available.

“Plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery haven’t been generally available to the public in Zimbabwe and that should change,” said Prof Muguti.

He added that they were offering free services to people with deformities and not people looking to improve their physical appearance.

“This is for people who have suffered severe burns that resulted in deformities, road accidents, work related accidents, natural deformities that require correction,” said Muguti.