ORH 2011 - Mission Report Back
80 patients in 5 operating days: Underprivileged communities hope shines anew in the Philippines – ORH NZ Medical Mission 2011
Operation Restore Hope New Zealand (ORH NZ) 2011, lead by Head of Mission Dr Tristan de Chalain, has, in its 7th year at the host hospital - President Diosdado Macapagal Memorial Medical Centre (PDMMMC) - in the Philippine city of Caloocan, given a brighter future to the lives of 80 underprivileged children born with cleft lip and palate deformities, including some requiring maxilo-facial and hand surgeries.
A strong group of more than 27 volunteers, including surgeons, a dentist, anesthetists, technicians, nurses and administration staff from New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Abu Dhabi and the United Kingdom, joined forces with the host hospital’s team and operated in conjunction with the ASK (Alay Sa Kinabukasan) Foundation and Rotary (both local and international).
After a year-long preparation, the 2011 mission started with the arrival of the volunteers in Manila on 29th and 30th April 2011. The final screening day was on 1st May and, of the 125 prospective patients screened, 80 were scheduled for surgery from 2nd to 6th May 2011. By week’s end, 120 surgical procedures had been successfully completed on 80 very grateful patients, whose ages ranged from 6 months to 35 years. In addition, 35 patients from previous missions had also been operated on for the 2nd stage of their cleft lip and palate repair.
Cleft lip and palate deformities still remain rampant and very visible in underprivileged communities in the Philippines, as evidenced by the cases treated by the ORH team during its 7 years of medical mission trips to City of Caloocan, North of Manila. The cost of a cleft lip or cleft palate repair in the Philippines is costly and, without charitable services such as those extended by Operation Restore Hope NZ, a poor family’s child would remain untreated and be disadvantaged for life.