Dr. Kwasi A. Debra, a Ghanaian cosmetic surgeon based in the US in a conversation with TheAfricanDream.net revealed that:
“After my initial training in women’s health; Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN), I noticed a growing request and interest from my patients for Cosmetic Surgery. That really sparked my interest.”
The US-based Ghanaian Cosmetic Surgeon said this in response to why he became a cosmetic surgeon.
Kwasi A. Debra, MD MBA Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OBGYN), has a private practice in Bowie, Maryland, in the USA where he offers procedures like facial rejuvenation, botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels and body sculpting to clients.
The surgeon tells TheAfricanDream.net that he also specializes in liposuction, fat transfer to the buttocks; also known as the Brazilian butt lift, tummy tuck, smart lipo, vaginal rejuvenation, and sculpture; a state-of-the-art laser treatment for non-invasive lipolysis of the flanks and abdomen.
Dr. Kwasi Debrah desired to set up shop in Africa
When asked when he developed the desire to practice in his native Ghana and west Africa, Dr. Kwasi Debra said it began in the year 2000 when he led a team of 14 physicians, nurses and medical students on a medical mission to Ghana.
“During my trip, I saw the real need for medical professionals to help in various capacities in the health care delivery system there, this really touched me and I felt inspired to do my bit based on my area of expertise.”
“As a women’s health provider too, I had several requests from patients who wanted cosmetic procedures at the time of routine abdominal surgery. This led me to obtain additional training that gained me more experience to be able to combine plastic and cosmetic surgery.”
“Because I get additional requests from expatriates in Ghana in addition to clients from various West African countries, I figured I’d visit Ghana and the west African sub-region quarterly to honor them” – based on this, the surgeon set up a practice in Ghana’s capital city of Accra in 2006.
Africa ready for cosmetic surgery
The surgeon’s take on how ready Ghana and Africa is for these kinds of surgical procedures was: “Africa is ready, there are facilities in some countries located in Southern, Eastern and Northern Africa although West Africa is the last frontier.
This is something I hope to change in the near future with the establishment of my Ghana practice.”
A few of the things Dr. Debra felt Africa needs to do to prepare itself in the plastic and cosmetic surgery venture included the addressing of the health insurance matter in relation to cosmetic surgery.
He asked that special attention is paid to the creation of policies to ensure the right things are done in the cases of developing countries as cosmetic surgery is not covered by health Insurance for the most part.
A major challenge Africa and other advanced countries are grappling with in this field is the difficulty to control or monitor outcome, malpractice insurance requires a standard of care, which is non-existent.
…but much more needs to be done
This is the reason why Dr. Debra feels there is a dire need for a medical group or association to provide peer review, education, and standard of care, especially in Africa.
He said “there are a lot of well trained and qualified plastic and cosmetic surgeons of African descent outside the continent that could be encouraged to return home if most of these challenges I mentioned are given a critical look over time.
We must, of course, consider the technology and cost of supplies involved also as almost everything is imported presently.”
Because there are a lot of fake products, educating the public is also important because some people all over are mostly drawn to the least pricey things. This could become problematic as some of those drawn to cosmetic surgery based on what they see on the Internet, TV, in movies and via digital communication, could be taken advantage of by quacks.
Some people believe everything they see in this world of instant gratification thanks to information proliferation. They tend to want the experience, and this sometimes creates an interest in cosmetic surgery in Africa that is mostly driven by vanity.
Difference between Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery
It is necessary though to know the difference between plastic and cosmetic surgery. Dr. Debra explained to TheAfricanDream.net that “plastic surgery is a surgical specialty dedicated to the reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease, while cosmetic surgery enhances beauty.”
The procedures, techniques, and principles of cosmetic surgery are entirely focused on enhancing a patient’s appearance. Improving aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion are the key goals.
Cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck, and body. Because the treated areas function properly, cosmetic surgery is elective. Cosmetic surgery is practiced by doctors from a variety of medical fields, including plastic surgeons.
Dr. Debra’s past and what he hopes for the future
Both parents of Dr. Debra are Kwahu from Obomeng in the Eastern region of Ghana where he was born at Nkawkaw. He grew up living all over Ghana in cities like Saltpond, Accra, Cape Coast and Kumasi because of schooling.
“I started at a Roman Catholic School in Ghana’s Central region of Saltpond, moved to Accra to attend Kinbu Boys high school, went to Cape Coast to further my education at Mfantsipim School after which I attended the School of Medical Sciences at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.”
“I started my residency at Howard University Hospital in 1988 in Transitional Medicine in Washington, DC. I went back to school for my Executive MBA at the College of William and Mary located in Williamsburg Virginia in July 1999.”
When TheAfricanDream.net asked the cosmetic surgeon what future he sees for cosmetic surgery in Africa he responded with excitement: “A VERY BRIGHT FUTURE.”
“We will however need to incorporate a non-profit aspect to provide a sliding scale of payment for those who may have a true medical need”, he said with concern.” – Dr. Kwasi Debra
To find out more about Dr. Kwasi Debra and his work, check out his website or contact in this link.
Written by Oral Ofori of TheAfricanDream.net