It was as though they had relief, albeit temporary, from the routine shelling and arson back home in Afghanistan. They are, however, raring to go back to the war-torn country to start a free cleft centre in the 20-bed hospital, built by the German government in Mazar-E-Sharif.
Two plastic surgeons from the war-torn country – Nooriya Zia and Abdul Wahid Ershad – from Kabul Medical University are undergoing advanced training in cleft lip and palate treatment, sponsored by the German Cleft Children Aid Society, Deutsche Cleft Kinder Hilfe (DCKH) – at Durga Hospitals at Kancharapalem here.
“We cherish the warmth and hospitality of the hospital staff, Dr. Shiva, our teacher, and the local people. This is the first time we are in Visakhapatnam and we learnt a number of new techniques from Dr. Shiva during the last two months. Though cleft surgeries are being done in Afghanistan for the last couple of years, it has not developed as a specialisation there,” they said.
“Cleft deformities in children are high in our country and poverty of parents is coming in the way of proper treatment. They bring their children, travelling hundreds of kilometres from their villages, for treatment to Mazar-E-Sharif city but neglect follow-up visits to the hospital, as they are poor and cannot afford to pay for the travel,” says Dr. Nooriya.
“Our hospital is one among the few hospitals in India, recognised as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for cleft and cranio facial training,” Dr. Shiva Nagendra Reddy said.