(AUSTIN, TX – April 12, 2023) – Dr. Tosan Ehanire, an Austin-based board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, will spend two weeks this May using her expertise to help support Liberian non-profit Liberia Medical Relief. Her primary focus will be providing reconstructive services to burn victims and skin cancer patients.
“There is a profound need for quality medical care and supplies in my mother’s native country of Liberia,” says Ehanire. “I have a background in public health and health disparities, and I have always looked for opportunities to give back to underserved communities. As soon as I completed residency and was able to take the time, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer at Liberia Medical Relief.”
Liberia Medical Relief was created to provide medical supplies, surgical services, and teaching in response to the country’s immense need for medical care. Founded in 2012 by board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Kevin Strathy alongside his wife, Natu, a registered nurse and native Liberian, the couple recognized this need and, after creating Liberia Medical Relief, went on to become instrumental in establishing Liberia’s first Military Hospital, 14 Military Hospital, where Liberia Medical Relief patients receive treatment and care.
The use of open fires for cooking inside homes has made severe burns heartbreakingly common in Liberia. Sadly, most of these burns and other patient conditions remain untreated or under-treated due to the country’s scarce medical care.
“Given domestic demands begin early for girls, burn injury requiring reconstructive surgery is disproportionately prevalent among young women in this part of the world,” says Dr. Ehanire.
“Global health studies of low- and middle-income population demonstrate the significant socioeconomic impact of women’s health and well-being on a community. Burn-related disability is a far-reaching problem on many levels,” she adds. “It is my privilege to offer my expertise and training of local professionals in hopes of helping people recover from and function to improve their quality of life.”
Beyond expertise, one of the primary needs of Liberia Medical Relief is medical supplies. Since its inception in 2012, nearly 500 tons in donation supplies have been shipped from the United States to Liberia. Through hospital supply and personal donations, 14 Military Hospital is arguably one of the best – equipped hospitals in the country.
“Many Austinites may wonder how they can support this cause and here is something to consider,” says Ehanire. “Each surgery costs about $500 to cover all expenses for the patient. My goal for this two-week trip in May is to perform at least eight reconstructive surgeries for LMR patients. The most supportive contribution from the Austin community would be through individual sponsorships for the patients awaiting surgery.”
If you would like to donate to Liberia Medical Relief, visit https://liberiamedicalrelief.com/
Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery serves Austin, Texas and the surrounding areas with specializations in reconstructive breast surgery, cosmetic surgery of the breast and body, and non-surgical aesthetic medicine. Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons are experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate about the care of breast cancer patients. Together, they have a combined experience of more than 4,000 microvascular breast reconstructions, with a greater than 99 percent success rate. By combining reconstructive excellence with cosmetic surgery skills, our plastic surgeons safely provide patients with the most natural-looking results possible.
Liberia Medical Relief is a 501(c)(3) organization providing medical support, supplies, equipment and medications to the people of Liberia. Our organization provides treatment for burn victims, orthopedic and cancer patients and patients with other conditions. We also educate health care providers on surgical techniques, burn care and other medical practices to build a sustainable health care system in Liberia.