Patients suffering from cleft palates/lips – a congenital deformity – are now going to be better managed through a humanitarian outreach initiative between the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), and the US-based Smile Train Organisation.
Commencing from Monday last, doctors and surgeons from the US-based organization began conducting surgeries on children with the condition and also training local medical staff at the GPHC in the areas of patient management, after care, recovery, and follow-up treatment. Some ten nurses have already been trained in the different abovementioned areas thus far, while surgeons and doctors are presently undergoing training as well.
To date, some five children received successful surgeries, and an additional seven will be admitted for corrective surgery before the end of the week.
At a press conference held in this regard yesterday, GPHC’s Dr. Shilindra Rajkumar noted that he welcomed the efforts of the international organisation, citing that the GPHC had always encountered difficulties with accessing surgical procedures and treatment locally for such patients. He said that the entity was entirely depending on the efforts of visiting surgeons in that respect passing through, and explained that there were really no avenues for them to access treatment for after-surgery complications,
nor were they adequately trained to administer speech therapy and other services, essential to the development of patients.
He said that Smile Train has been supportive over the years, emphasising that they are exceedingly elated that the organisation has now embarked on extensive training of staff to make the GPHC adequately equipped to administer professional long-term treatment to such patients.
He said that yesterday GPHC officials also met with the Rotary Clubs in Guyana to establish an arrangement where they are going to seek out such patients residing in hinterland locations, as they conduct outreach programmes, to ensure they too receive treatment.
Surgeons, nurses, doctors and anesthetists will be now exposed to intensive training in their various capacities to make them better educated and trained to deal with such patients.
Smile Train’s Dr. Mariane Goes said her organization was pleased to be associated with the GPHC and has decided to work with them since the entity has professional staffers who are willing and eager to learn and be trained. She said from several visits, her team realised that the hospital has the capacity to conduct its own surgeries, and its staff to be trained in patient management, hence the birth of the present exercise.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. Together, these birth defects commonly are called “orofacial clefts”.
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