Charitable foundations for the Third World there are many, but there are only five specialist “reconstructive surgery” foundations in the world, one of which was founded in Palma last year. Founder Dr Francisco Javier Beut, will be giving a conference on Cirujanos Plastikos Mundi on Thursday night in Palma, at the Fundación La Caixa. The aim is to present the foundation, its work and its philosophy to the public and local politicians. Beut was one of the founders of AMREF, the African Medical Research and Education Foundation some 12 years ago. The Palma-based reconstructive surgeon and skin specialist last year founded Cirujanos Plastikos Mundi because he felt that too many foundations working in the Third World were becoming involved in too many projects . He also felt that there was a serious need for a foundation specialising in reconstructive surgery. At present there are two projects in operation, “Proyecto 100 niños 2000-2001” and “Proyecto 100 niños Peru-Kenya 2001.” The Kenya project at Wamba Hospital was launched last July and the Peruvian project started in November. Beut and his team of international specialist surgeons have worked with a wide range of patients with a vast range of problems, be it skin problems, external physical defects and internal problems: Dr Beut was one of a team of expert doctors who flew to Nairobi after the US Embassy blast. He spent 11 days in the country working from 7am to 8pm and carried out an average of ten operations a day. “Some were menial, removing bits of glass, but other patients had lost half of their head or other limbs and internal organs,” he said yesterday as he went through a visual guide of operations and patients treated over the past year. But it is that visual guide which is at the heart of Beut's philosophy for the foundation. “I know it breaks all the norms of foundations in the past, but in this day of evolving technology, we must keep up as e-mail, internet and digital photography can be put to priceless use,” he said.

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