A health group said it will perform 67 reconstructive surgeries to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Former President Nelson Mandela. File picture: Pexels

Johannesburg - A health group on Wednesday said it will perform 67 reconstructive surgeries to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Former President Nelson Mandela.

Challenger Health Group Clinix said it will raise its raison d'etre of changing lives through providing quality healthcare to a range of people from age two to 75 this July.

"Reconstructive surgery has been shown to improve the self-confidence of patients and change the trajectory of their lives," said CEO Dr. Khamane Matseke.

"Our 67 surgeries are aimed at giving our patients a chance to participate more fully in our communities and society. They should now, amongst others, be able to access employment and other opportunities more confidently."

Matseke said in an effort to make "every day a Mandela Day," his group was going to carry out surgeries that include 17 cleft lips, uni cleft lips and palettes, cheek keloids, ear reconstruction, elbow contracture release, 10 tonsillectomies, 70 cataract removals and 40 circumcisions.

The surgeries begin this month and continue until November.

Speaking about the impact of the cataract surgery conducted last year during a similar campaign, Lawrence Maloka said his family would not have been able to afford this surgery and his condition would have impacted on his entire life. 

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this programme and to have the gift of good sight. My life has changed forever as a result of this surgery".

Dr. Gcobani Tuswa, an Ophthalmologist at Clinix Naledi Nkanyezi medical team said: "I entered the profession of medicine to make a difference. This project has brought together my commitment to medicine and the people I serve, as well as my pride in my country. President Nelson Mandela will always be an icon in our country. This has been a win-win project."

Matseke said: "This vision has guided our journey since 1992 and it is one which we will continue to uphold through our 'Everyday is Mandela Day' campaign. We invite those who would like to be part of our programme and work to get in touch with us".

African News Agency (ANA)