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  HOME | Bolivia

Low-Income Bolivians Get Vital Surgery Free of Charge

LA PAZ – Low-income adults who have suffered accidents and children with congenital malformations will be given the opportunity to get free hand surgeries in La Paz, which can often cost around $5,000.

This is the 16th hand surgery campaign organized by the SOS Mano Bolivia foundation, which has helped more than 1,500 people, the foundation’s president Jorge Terrazas said.

The surgeries are carried out at the Central Military Hospital in La Paz with the support of SOS Mano Bolivia and ReSurge International, a humanitarian organization that helps provide free reconstructive surgeries in developing countries.

The Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz, a Bolivian bank, and the office of the Bolivian president are also supporting the campaign.

“Most stories have a happy ending, with children and adults being able to use their hands once again after the operations,” Terrazas, who is also a surgeon, told reporters during a tour of the hospital.

The cost of the operations, considering hospitalization, medical equipment and salaries could normally average “$2,000 or $3,000 per patient,” Terrazas said.

The cost of some of the more complex operations, like thumb reconstruction, could rise to around $5,000.

Mateo, a four-year-old boy who has Apert syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by certain malformations, had recently awoken from an operation, surrounded by doctors and his mother, Rosa Mari.

“I am very excited. I was afraid, just as any person would have been. But now I am very happy because he will have a better quality of life thanks to the specialists who have come here for this campaign,” the woman told reporters.

 

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