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Updated: December 2, 2009 20:22 IST

Shaping happy futures for women with disfigured past

Bindu Shajan Perappadan
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Martia Eisenmann-Klen and Constance M.I. Neuhann-Lorenz iin New Delhi. Photo: V. Sudershan
The Hindu
Martia Eisenmann-Klen and Constance M.I. Neuhann-Lorenz iin New Delhi. Photo: V. Sudershan

A bunch of extraordinary female plastic surgeons are travelling across the globe as part of the “Women for Women” programme helping women who have suffered disfiguring and socially excluding injuries and trauma “piece back” their lives.

“Women for Women” is a charity programme supported by female plastic surgeons whose goal is to help such women and enable them to lead a happy and prosperous life despite the injuries and trauma they have suffered in the past.

Women for Women’s first mission was conducted in Jalandhar in 2008, followed by missions in Kulu and Palampur this year. In all missions in India, women with mostly burn injuries were operated by experienced surgical teams. Projects in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq have been planned along with some African countries.

“The aim of the programme is to help women suffering from physical injuries as a result of domestic abuse, war or other socio-cultural reasons in third world countries. We intend to encourage these women to undergo treatment with a female plastic surgeons, with whom they may feel more comfortable. The programme provides a service that is cost neutral from a patient’s perspective, and is free at the point of services,’’ said Dr. Marita Eisenmann-Klein, General Secretary of International Plastic Reconstructive Aesthetic Surgery, in the Capital earlier this week.

On each mission, the programme intends to work together with existing local humanitarian projects if available and ensure that the patients receive effective and sustainable treatment, said plastic and aesthetic surgeon Constance M.I. Neuhann-Lorenz.

“The programme also tries to channel assistance from women who are able through their expertise to provide medical assistance to female patients who, because of their social environment have few opportunities for treatment. We often come across female victims who may not visit medical facilities for treatment and because of the time and cost constrains. Our objective is to try and treat these women in their local communities by international women plastic surgeons using local medical facilities in co-operation with local medical professionals and with the co-operation and support of national societies, whenever possible,’’ added Dr. Constance M.I. Neuhann-Lorenz.

“The programme treats more than the physical injuries and external scars. We also have counselling and encourage women to open up and talk. We want to reach out to as many women as is needed and we are truly amazed at the response that we are getting from doctors and patients. There is no doubt that the programme is here to stay and shape happier future for women,’’ said Dr. Marita Eisenmann-Klein.

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