A team of American medical personnel, under the banner of Children’s Surgery International (CSI) has completed a week-long working visit to the Firestone Medical Center in Duside, Firestone, where over 95 children afflicted with various facial deformities and other pediatric conditions received free surgical operations.
The medical team which arrived on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County, began active surgical operations on Sunday, January 29, 2012 with beneficiaries coming from Monrovia and other areas far beyond the concession area of Firestone Liberia.
This latest visit of CSI is the third in a series of visits the American medical team has paid to the Firestone Medical Center, with the first conducted in 2010.
The medical team which comprised doctors, nurses, medical and other social workers worked in close collaboration with their Liberian counterparts assigned at the Firestone Medical Center in the performance of free surgical operations.
The Firestone Hospital currently treats over 9,000 patients each month. In addition, Firestone Liberia is partnering with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and UNICEF to store and administer vaccines that help to protect Liberians from a range of diseases.
The hospital also works with the Ministry of Health for the control of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Speaking on behalf of over 7,000 Firestone Liberia teammates at a well-attended farewell party hosted in their honor, the President and Managing Director of Firestone Liberia, Mr. Charles E. Stuart, expressed thanks and appreciation to the team for a job well done in the interest of the kids of Liberia.
Mr. Stuart also expressed the hope that the team will continue to come back to Liberia to help children who are in need of much critical medical attention whose parents cannot afford the cost to correct the deformities that have afflicted them over the years.
“It is quite possible that one of those children could be the future leader of Liberia. Those things will not happen had it not been for you,” the Firestone Liberia Chief Executive noted.
He further expressed happiness that he has been fortunate to witness the three performances of the CSI team and its Firestone Liberia medical counterparts.
The Chairperson of the CSI Board of Directors, Lora Koppel, who also spoke during the occasion, expressed satisfaction about the CSI team’s third successful visit to Liberia through the Firestone Medical Center, noting, “Liberia, you are part of our family and we will be back!”
For his part, Dr. Lawrence Sherman of the Firestone Medical Center said this year, the team decided to make a decision that younger children whose cases were difficult were given the chance and preference for treatment.
According to him, this is why the CSI mission was a little more difficult and more technical than the last two years. “We’ll like to say a special thank you to the CSI team, to all of you for your dedication and your passion for what you do,” the Liberian surgeon emphasized.
He was especially thankful to Dr. Tim Lander, whom he noted has worked very hard to ensure the CSI mission transition, so that the Liberian team can be able to do some of the difficult cases on its own.
Speaking on behalf of the CSI team, Dr. Tim Lander, a surgeon, expressed appreciation to all members of the team, members of the Board of CSI, corporate partners of CSI, including Firestone, and all those volunteers of CSI who tirelessly committed themselves to make the mission possible.
According to the American surgeon, this year’s mission screened about 120 patients and performed surgeries on 99.
Dr. Lander disclosed that some of the kids who were screened but did not get surgeries were too young and some did not return on the days they were assigned for the operations.
He said operations were performed on kids ranging from six weeks of age to the oldest, 23, and did three 18-year olds, confirming that this year’s mission mainly concentrated on the very young children than the two previous missions.
The well-attended program was graced by the presence of Mr. Patrick Rodrigo, Comptroller, Firestone teammates, CSI Mission, among others.
Following the closing program, a sumptuous lunch was tendered in honor of all team members of 2012 CSI Mission.