International group offers free surgery to kids

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Sunday, February 13, 2011


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — An international medical group has conducted free surgery to Kapampangan children with cleft lip and cleft palate disabilities.

Operation Smile International (OSI), through its Philippine branch, treated nearly 100 children and young adults with cleft lip and/or cleft palate deformities during a surgical mission at the Social Action Center of Pampanga (Sacop) in Barangay Maimpis here.

OSI is a charity organization composed of volunteer doctors and nurses and conducts missions through donations they receive.

The mission was spearheaded by a team of OSI volunteers composed of plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatric intensivists, dentists, nurses and speech therapists.

Dr. Laurence Loh and Dr. Hector Santos, two of the leading plastic surgeons in the country, led the mission.

Some 170 patients trooped to the pre-screening on Thursday. The surgery procedures were conducted at the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Medical Center.

Robert Manzano, president and executive director, said their recent mission in Pampanga is their seventh since 2004.

At least 423 children and young adults have already been treated of their deformities since 2004.

Manzano said their mission has been assisted by local partners like the Kapampangan Development Foundation (KDF) chaired by Clark Development Corporation president Benigno Ricafort.

In 1987, around 35 Kapampangans founded KDF to help small business enterprises. Recently, it expanded its advocacy to health care, education and livelihood.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 14, 2011.

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