Bringing smiles: day 1 on the ground

GSK PULSE Volunteer, Len is back working with a non-profit organization, Rotaplast, to provide pre-operative and post-operative pediatric care for cleft palate surgeries in Bangladesh.

GSK PULSE Volunteer, Len is back working with a non-profit organization, Rotaplast, to provide pre-operative and post-operative pediatric care for cleft palate surgeries in Bangladesh.

The Rotaplast team arrived in Chittagong yesterday after 24+ hours of travel. The team of 24 physicians, nurses and non-medical volunteers are an experienced group. I am amazed that many team members have gone on more than 20 other medical missions!

Today we set up the hospital and conducted our screening clinic. Upon arriving at the hospital this morning, we were greeted by a large crowd of children and their parents. We registered 223 patients, and over the next 12 hours all were evaluated by our plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, nurses, dentist and speech pathologist. We were not able to schedule surgery for half of the patients because what they require we cannot safely or effectively provide given the capabilities of our hospital which has no blood bank, lab, x-ray or pharmacy.

The good news is that around 100 patients met our criteria and are scheduled for surgery. As I expected, some of the children we operated on when I was here with Rotaplast last May came back to the clinic to be evaluated for a next-stage surgery. It was wonderful seeing them....attached are pictures of Subrina, Puja, Shajjadar, Humayun, Jannutaul, Arita and Nilardi, some of the children from the last mission who are scheduled for further surgery to make their smiles even more beautiful. Tomorrow is the first day of surgery.