Sunday, September 19, 2021

Rotary: 50 kids with cleft palate, harelip treated every month

CLARK FREEPORT – Some 50 children with harelip and cleft palate are treated every month under the "Operation Smile" of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat in cooperation with the Kapampangan Development Foundation (KDF).

“RC Mabalacat has held a hare-lip operation program for seven years every Thursday at the Kapampangan Development Foundation,” said Ron Nethercutt, a member of RC Mabalacat and a major donor of the Rotary Foundation.

Nethercutt said that three special guests – Dr. Lawrence Loh, volunteer doctor of Operation Smile; Dr. Sylvia Ordonez, KDF executive director; and Benny Ricafort, KDF president – will be presented during the club’s meeting at the Meeting Place inside the Freeport on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.

"Over 2,000 children can now smile," Nethercutt said.

KDF is an organization of Kapampangans living outside the region. It was founded in 1987 by 35 people who were inspired by President Corazon Aquino.

The KDF has created a rural-industrialization program known as RICH (Rural Industrialization Can Happen) and has provided social and health services to poor residents of Pampanga through its HELP (Health, Education and Livelihood for Pampanga) program, with assistance from international and non-governmental organizations and government agencies.

The chair of the board of directors is Manuel V. Pangilinan, who also chairs Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications (PLDT). As of 24 May 2012 its president is Benigno N. Ricafort.

KDF also maintains a disability program that includes a prosthesis laboratory, cataract and pterygium eye surgery, cleft lip and cleft-palate surgery and wheelchair distribution. A program aims to supply free prosthetic legs to all needy citizens of Pampanga, including rehabilitation and a local laboratory for prosthetic adjustments.

KDF also operates a charity hospital for disabled indigents, the Jesus A. Datu Medical Center located in Bacolor, Pampanga.
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