In collaboration with the African Bible College Community Clinic, ConnectMed International is proud to continue their Malawi Multidisciplinary Outreach. On February 15th, 2013 Dr. Amanda Gosman (UCSD) and Dr. Rohit Khosla (Stanford) led 14 CMI team members from all over the US to Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa. Once again in 2014 CMI is partnering with the ABC Community Clinic to provide life changing surgeries benefiting children and young adults in need of cleft lip and palate surgery. Patients travel from all over the country of Malawi hoping for what they think is impossible; to look normal. A CMI team of 27 departs on May 2nd this year to exam and hopefully help children like Devirious, Eliza, Maria, and Tiyamike.
Last year two surgeons, operated in tandem, supported by operating room nurses, anesthesiologists, anesthesia technical support, we well as local doctors and nurses who jumped at the chance to work alongside CMI’s team. As each surgery was completed, patients were moved to the PAC-U (post-anesthesia care unit) where nurses helped them through the recovery process. It was during this phase where the children were seen by family members for the first time prior to surgery. Smiles and tears of joy were in abundance as what they thought was once impossible became reality.
Meet Grace, a young girl from the village of Gusu in need of a cleft lip repair. On February 19th at 8:30am she became our first patient to benefit from surgery. A surgery that she and her family thought would never be possible. It was so special to see the reaction of Grace’s father when he gazed on his little girl for the first time post-surgery. In the coming days Grace started to show us something we had not seen before – a smile! We also were able to visit Grace and her family at her village. Her mother and sisters were just as excited to see her new smile.
Read more about Grace and her family here.
Part of the ConnectMed Mission Statement is a commitment to provide education and learning in the U.S. as well as with our partner’s abroad. Many CMI team members are also educators. Representing UCSD, Stanford University, and Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, they took a brief pause from surgery to give presentations to physicians and health care professionals in and around Lilongwe. Lectures on a wide range of topics including speech therapy, anesthesia, operative care and dental were well received. Collaborative learning between our multidisciplinary specialists and the health care professionals in Malawi will continue to develop in the coming years.
Follow Up Care
As in any developing country, many babies and children were not eligible for surgery due to sickness or malnutrition. Nutritional guidance for mothers who had trouble nursing their babies were given special bottles and classes in feeding techniques so that they will be stable for surgery on our return visit. ConnectMed is committed to follow-up care. Our CMI Director stayed behind a few days to work on our return journey, tentatively on the calendar for August of 2014. Children who were not deemed surgical candidates on this trip, lip revisions and follow-up palate surgeries will be our next course of care in this country so very much in need of speciality surgical care.With your continued support we will be able to continue helping the children of Malawi that are in desperate need. ConnectMed has been approached about the possibility of working in Southern India and additional countries in Africa as well. The need is great.
Read more about Malawi in 2013
Press Release: San Diego Non-Profit ConnectMed International Successfully Completes 40 Cleft Lip and Palate Surgeries in 4 Days
Meet Neneni, a 21 year old boy who dreamed of a normal life and a wife
Pictures From Malawi, Lilongwe’s people
Today Will Be a Good Day, first day in Malawi