I have been asked to give some more detail about what this trip is like. The goal is to support the local hospital in establishing a center for the care of children with cleft lip and palate and to encourage team care. Thus we met with the plastic surgeons, ear nose and throat, orthodontics, and speech at the hospital.
The sign on the right is over the entrance to the main building and announces our presence.
The group I am traveling with is an orthodontist, two speech pathologists and a dental student who is Chinese and is our main interpreter. In fact she spent the day with me in the OR while I showed the local surgeons how I do lip and palate repair. The others spent the morning working with their local counterparts.
The whole program is supported by the local, provincial and country government to some extent. We also have our lodging and meals supported by the China Population Welfare Foundation, which is an NGO that helps primarily the rural population.
Unlike other trips, this one has me using only local supplies and local personnel. The anesthesiologist was great and the technician helping with the surgery was one step ahead of me. The challenge was finding suture that would work among a very limited selection.
The first patient.