Loja, Ecuador January 2005
For nearly 20 years, Interplast has worked in Loja, Ecuador. From January 10-21, volunteer medical professionals (three plastic surgeons, three anesthesiologists, one pediatrician and four nurses) are expected to provide life-changing reconstructive surgery for approximately 75 children who have severe burn injuries and disfiguring birth defects, including cleft lips and palates. In addition, there will also be an opportunity for the doctors to provide acute burn education and training, in conjunction with a new burn unit at the local hospital.
This trip is generously sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities. Bob Langert, senior director for social responsibility for McDonald’s, has kindly agreed to give up his time to participate in this trip. Mr. Langert and the other team members will arrive in Guayaguil on Saturday, January 8. On Sunday, the team will travel by bus to Loja. Clinic-- a day when medical professionals evaluate the cases of children in need--will take place on Monday. This is a day when the hospital is typically filled with the families of hundreds of children, hoping their child will be able to receive the reconstructive surgery that could provide a better life for their child.
According to UNICEF, nearly 70 percent of Ecuador’s children live in poverty. In Interplast service areas like Ecuador, impoverished people generally do not have access to even basic medical services, let alone reconstructive plastic surgery. The supply of trained plastic surgeons in developing countries is often quite limited. Even where some surgeons are available, poor people in developing countries do not generally have the financial resources to afford such care, and must compete against an overwhelming demand for medical services by their fellow citizens.
Interplast, the first international humanitarian organization to provide free reconstructive surgery in developing countries, makes a direct and profound difference in the lives of 3,000 children each year who suffer physically or emotionally from a congenital deformity or injury. Renowned for the highest-quality medical care, Interplast works in partnership with volunteers and overseas medical colleagues to educate and empower local communities so that medical access continues year-round.
Interplast Provides Solutions
Interplast cares for children and adults who might otherwise be sentenced to a lifetime of devastation and suffering. Interplast’s programs provide corrective surgery and related care for impoverished patients with congenital deformities or other disabling conditions, including severe burns and hand injuries. The organization’s scope of services includes:
Partnering with surgeons and other medical professionals in developing countries to coordinate locally-managed surgical outreach programs.
Conducting educational workshops to provide advanced training in specialized skills for host country medical professionals.
Sending volunteer medical teams overseas to perform surgery and assist in skills transfer.
Interplast Manages Programs in More Than 25 Different Sites Around the World
Interplast manages medical programs in more than 25 different sites around the world. Performing surgery and/or providing advanced medical training for local physicians and nurses, volunteers this year will work in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Vietnam. Interplast has Surgical Outreach Centers in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Nepal, Peru and Zambia. Interplast provides support to the centers with funding, quality review, technological support and advanced medical training.
For more information, please contact Interplast at 650.962.0123 or www.interplast.org