MOUNTAIN VIEW, California – When studying global poverty, the obstacles involved in attempting to solve intractable issues can dishearten even the most dedicated. ReSurge International, a nonprofit organization, is providing hope in the fight to improve global health by combining medical expertise, technology, and charity to change thousands of lives around the globe.
ReSurge International works in 15 developing nations to provide free reconstructive surgery and instructs local doctors on proper procedures associated with general health practices. Beginning in 1969, the organization has brought professionals to developing countries to share their expertise and technology with locals. Through their efforts, ReSurge International reports that over 80% of all reconstructive surgeries performed in the nations they have worked in are now performed by local doctors. The group has no political or religious affiliations and aims help those who have no access to resources. Absent of infrastructure, the project has worked wonders and reintegrated many who were cast away because of their looks and conditions.
One of many powerful success stories ReSurge is responsible is about Kanchana, a Sri Lankan nurse. One of the brightest people in her field in Sri Lanka, Kanchana was the victim of a brutal attack when a perpetrator threw acid on her face. Not only did Kanchana have to battle physical injury, stigma, and medical costs, she fought against all odds to remain in nursing school. ReSurge partnered with Dr. Chandini Perera in Sri Lanka and Kanchana’s reconstructive surgeries were performed for free. She later graduated 11th out of 30,000 nursing students and works in Perera’s hospital. Kanchana is an empowering presence to her patients and a true success story.
Unfortunately, Kanchana’s cause of injury is commonplace in the developing world and is consistent with the terrible treatment women can receive in the developing world. The number of burn victims worldwide is on the rise, prompting a response from ReSurge International and its partners International Medical Corps, with funding from Ronald McDonald House Charities among others. International Medical Corps, echoing a statement from ReSurge International CEO Susan Hayes, said that burns are more prevalent now than cases of HIV and tuberculosis. Calling attention to the problem, they also estimated that the attacks cost millions each year in health care and lost income, notwithstanding the social costs. In early 2012, ReSurge and its partners vowed to bring global awareness to this issue and began a program in Nepal with plans for more to follow.
Helping the cause and highlighting the efforts of ReSurge International is made simple. The organization has a large online presence and invites potential volunteers and interns to give local presentations where they are and provide assistance as well. If you wish to help spread the word, go here. Take a pledge affirming that you believe women shouldn’t be subjected to burns here. Get a group of people together, like the ones you presented to, pool your money, and become a social investment group here. There are many ways to directly help ReSurge or raise awareness of their cause.
– David Smith
Sources: ReSurge, ReSurge and Partners Act
Photo: International Medical Corps