Africa Surgery Update Report – March through September 2017

When I first saw 17 year-old Theresa Saidu in February, 2017, I was sure that she could not survive. Her entire mouth was full of her lower jaw which had expanded as if it were an inflated balloon. The tumor was large and hard, but Theresa was able to swallow creamed foods which she passed into her mouth between the tumor and her upper lip.

We first saw Aminata Kamara and Aminata Mansaray in November, 2016. They were seated together at a Catholic hospital in Sierra Leone among patients with bone fractures and bone infections who were being assessed for treatment by an orthopedic-surgical team visiting from Germany. Both women were being sent away because their facial tumors could only be treated by ear-nose and throat (ENT) and Maxilla-facial specialists, and not by orthopedic surgeons. One of them, Aminata Kamara, age 36, whose lower jaw was grossly enlarged by a tumor, had her baby daughter strapped on her back. Though her situation seemed hopeless, Aminata was still able to express hope with her eyes.
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