|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
GIVING THIRD WORLD MEDICINE A LIFT:
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, May 27, 2008 – Former U.S. Army surgeon and CURE International volunteer Dr. Keith Rose spends four months a year away from his family in war-torn Afghanistan performing life-transforming plastic surgery and training national physicians in advanced medical techniques.
From cleft lip surgery on children to reconstructive surgery on innocent victims of the conflict with armed opposition forces, the 43-year-old Dallas native has performed more than 600 surgeries in three years, giving the poor and maimed in Afghanistan a brighter future.
“Afghans are wonderful people,” says Rose, who has established life-long friendships with many of the doctors, he now calls brothers, at CURE’s hospital in Kabul. “I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful work and also to have a family who supports my calling overseas.”
Rose says it is difficult to leave his wife and four young children behind when he travels, but admits that helping the hurting and disabled in the Third World is a powerful motivator. Even Rose’s toddler seems to grasp the significance of his father’s work when he tells his older brothers, “Daddy is going to fix the broken babies.”
Rose understands first-hand the emotional pain that parents suffer from when their children are helplessly born with congenital disorders. Likely the inspiration behind his charity work, one of Rose’s four-year-old twins was born with clubfoot, a condition which can cause a child’s feet and ankles to be severely deformed. Wishing to help treat children around the world not as fortunate as his son, who received proper care at an early age, Rose got involved with CURE.
“In the U.S., clubfoot is an easily treatable birth defect; but in poor countries like Afghanistan – where most do not have access to care – it is a life sentenced to hardship and social isolation,” said Rose, who has story after story emphasizing the severe price many disabled children in Afghanistan often pay solely because of their conditions.
“If you’re an Afghan girl born with a cleft lip, you will never marry,” says Rose. “In extreme cases, if you are born with a deformity, you may even become an outcast and be left to beg in the streets.”
At the CURE hospital in Kabul, Rose also educates physicians and specialists on the latest medical procedures so they, in turn, can share their knowledge in rural district hospitals throughout the country. The Afghan medical system lags decades behind Western standards. By building teaching hospitals that train national medical professionals, CURE helps develop a community’s infrastructure, raising the standard of health care for the entire country.
When Rose is not in Afghanistan, he operates several medical clinics in his adopted home town of Corpus Christi, Texas, which helps fund his efforts overseas. He also is the inventor of a life-saving device called the “intergral tourniquet system” which he licensed to Blackhawk Products Group. Blackhawk is currently marketing the tourniquet system to the U.S. armed forces and already has orders from some of the special operations forces.
Although reluctant to discuss his military service, Rose believes it, along with his childhood experiences traveling the world with his father – a well-known Dallas pastor – helped prepare him for his life’s work helping reconstruct the lives of the poor in the developing world.
CURE International was founded in 1996 and operates teaching hospitals and medical programs in Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and Zambia, and will open additional hospitals in Ethiopia, Egypt, Niger and the West Bank in the next two years.
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