Pediatric anesthesiologist Reza Borna, MD, traveled to Antigua, Guatemala in August as part of a volunteer medical team sponsored by Surgicorps International. The team included 35 dedicated medical and non-medical volunteers, from diverse geographic locations across the United States.
The mission of Surgicorps International is to provide free surgical and medical care to impoverished communities in need around the world. People in these communities often lack access to the most basic health care necessities.
Children with congenital deformities in disadvantaged areas may endure a life of peer ridicule and shame, and are often denied access to education. The child’s condition becomes a social and financial burden on a family already struggling for existence. Their needs include reconstructive surgery for cleft lip and palate defects, repair of burn scar deformities, and other congenital problems such as syndactyly and polydactyly.
The volunteer team worked closely with the hospital staff at the Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro Hospital in Antigua. Together they screened 127 patients, and scheduled 120 for surgery. General surgery, gynecology, plastic surgery, and hand surgery cases were scheduled in four operating rooms.
Dr. Borna cared for pediatric patients scheduled for plastic and hand surgery procedures, supervising two excellent residents from the University of Pittsburgh. In the five days of the team’s volunteer work, many pediatric patients received life-changing operations.