Isatu, 8, and Zainab, 6, are full of vigor and agility as they run around the Ferry Terminal waiting to cross over to the Freetown International Airport at Lungi. Their destination is Ghana where these two kids will undergo reconstructive plastic surgery.
Despite the kids are full of life, they would have faced a bleak future because of the defects they are straddled with.
Isatu Kalokoh fell into a blazing fire during the war in Makeni and had serious burns on the right hand. Her parents wrapped up the hand and concentrated on fleeing from the rebels.
When they finally settled down in safety, Isatu’s thumb had stuck to her palm and this had been her condition up till now.
Zainab had a similar fire accident, but in her own case she got her burns from a cooking incident also in Makeni. And both of her feet became deformed.
However, hope and normal life will be given to these kids by Allan Burns, a Scottish Charity manager who came to Sierra Leone together with the Ghanaian director of the Plastic Surgery Unit in Accra and decided afterwards to develop reconstructive plastic surgery in Sierra Leone.
But since there is no facility for such a surgical procedure at the moment, Allan decided to take Zainab and Isatu, the very first patients from Sierra Leone, to Ghana for the surgery.
Allan who raised the 1600 UK Pounds for both surgeries said these two kids were recommended to him for treatment by Tom Johnson, who had served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone before and during the beginning of the war in Sierra Leone.
“Deformity and disability are very common in Africa and can cause much suffering and pain and rejection of people by their society”, said Allan.
He said a group of plastic surgeons from Scotland who are visiting Ghana discovered that people with deformity and disability whose conditions would have been repaired in Scotland received no treatment in Ghana, so they decided to do something about it.
“We set up a charity in Scotland called the International Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Ghana Project to help develop West Africa’s first reconstructive service in Ghana,” said Allan.
He said Sierra Leone would be the first country after Ghana which they hope to extend the establishment of this kind of surgical clinic.