Brevard County, FL (March 18, 2010) Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS, and well known Brevard County plastic surgeon will soon begin a journey to Singida Province, the poorest region of Tanzania, on a two-week medical mission with Outreach Africa.
The non-denominational outreach mission to Tanzania will include various clinicians, nurses, and support staff from across the country. Besides Dr. Clevens, there is only one additional surgeon on the team along with internal medicine physicians, pediatricians and family doctors.
“In Tanzania, the conditions are quite primitive and most cooking is done over open flames causing extreme burns, especially among children,” said Dr. Clevens. “We will be working to fix strictures and scarring related to those burns, along with wounds, tumors, and infections affecting the head and neck.”
According to Clevens, patients from the region have a high incidence of neglected cleft palates and congenital anomalies also needing repair, but says this mission will not only benefit patients but also local physicians.
“We will have the opportunity to meet with the regional health commissioner and to share our expertise as physicians with Tanzanian doctors. We will also have observers in the operating room with whom we will share operative skills and techniques.”
Expected to be in surgery for nearly 12 hours per day, Dr. Clevens will be traveling with his 14-year old son, Max, who will be working as a patient assistant.
“My family and I traveled to Africa in 2007 visiting schools and villages. This trip kindled the desire to return to Africa in a charitable capacity. Max will work meeting, greeting, triaging and transporting patients,” added Clevens.
“I believe this will be a father-son experience of a lifetime for Max and myself.”