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Burn Victim Kweku is a Survivor

  Dr. Paintsil and Burn Victim Kweku 
  Originally uploaded by interplast.

Dr. Albert Paintsil, Interplast's surgical outreach director in Accra, Ghana is busy repairing burn contractures for some of Ghana's poorest patients.

This 6-month old boy, Kweku, was burned badly on his face, torso and arm when he was just 2 weeks old. The mother says she doesn't know how it happened, she just found the baby's bed on fire when she returned from another room. Dr. Paintsil has already done a number of skin grafts on Kweku's face to restore function to the eyelids (making it possible for him to close his eyes again) and give him new skin around his eyes. The different pigmentation of the skin is due to the fact that the graft was taken from the baby's thigh, where his skin is darker. Kweku has also undergone a contracture release on his arm, also performed by Dr. Paintsil through Interplast's burn outreach program.... and the poor little guy still needs more surgery!

Dr. Paintsil plans to release a contracture to fix Kweku's lip, and will have to conduct several more surgeries as the baby grows. Dr. Paintsil is devoted to caring for Kweku as long as necessary in order to ensure that he grown up to be a healthy boy who can function in society. When talking about Kweku today, Dr. Paintsil said, "The conclusion I have come to with this patient is that he is a survivor. He is a very strong boy" I can't see how anyone could disagree with that, given what Kweku has already been through in his short life.

Forever Young Foundation and Interplast in Ghana

  Forever Young Foundation at Korle-Bu 
  Originally uploaded by interplast.

Today was a very special day at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. Representatives from the Forever Young Foundation visited the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burn Unit to see what Interplast's visiting educators and surgical outreach directors are accomplishing here in Accra. We were delighted to host, among others, Steve Young - former star quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Junior Bryant - also a former 49er, defensive tackle, and teammate of Steve Young's when the 49ers won the Super Bowl in 1995, and Sterling Tanner - Executive Director of the Forever Young Foundation. Mr. Young is the co-founder of the Forever Young Foundation with his wife Barb, and Mr. Bryant is a member of the organization's Board of Directors. All are pictured here with Dr. Tom Moore, plastic surgeon and Interplast volunteer educator, and several of the local plastic surgeons. The Forever Young Foundation has provided a two-year grant to fund a large part of the visiting educator and burn outreach programs in Ghana. Our sincerest gratitude goes out to them, both for their generous support and for taking the time to come and see the work that Interplast is doing here.

Combining Lectures with Hands-On Training

  Dr. Moore Lecturing Ghanaian Doctors 
  Originally uploaded by interplast.

Here is Dr. Moore giving a lecture on congenital ear deformities. This Visiting Educator workshop, like most of Interplast's, will combine traditional lectures with hands-on training in the operating room. Participants in the workshop include the 6 certified plastic surgeons in Ghana (yes, there are only 6 in the whole country!) and several of their residents. Three surgeons and two residents traveled all the way to Accra from Kumasi, another major city in Ghana, to be here for this workshop. They are eager to make the most of all the educational opportunities available to them.

Visiting Educator Workshop in Ghana

Hi! I'm here in Accra, Ghana with Dr. Tom Moore, a plastic surgeon from Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Moore is an expert in ear reconstruction, and he is here to teach the local Ghanaian plastic surgeons and residents the art of rebuilding an ear. In this photo he is examining a patient who has unilateral microtia, which means he was born with a deformed ear on one side. The boy is only 5 and a half years old, and Dr. Moore usually waits until the child is about 7 to operate on the ear, so he may ask this little patient to come back next time. We saw some other patients this morning with both congenital and acquired ear deformities, and at least two of them are good candidates for surgery. Dr. Moore will conduct hands-on teaching sessions in the operating room later this week.

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