San Diego Non-Profit, ConnectMed International Successfully Completes 40 Cleft Lip and Palate Surgeries in 4 Days in Lilongwe, Malawi
Carlsbad, CA, March 20, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- On February 15th, 2013 a ConnectMed International team led by Dr. Amanda Gosman (University of California, San Diego, Division of Plastic Surgery) and Dr. Rohit Khosla (Stanford Hospital) departed with 14 team members from the United States destined for Lilongwe, Malawi in eastern Africa. CMI, in partnership with the ABC Community Clinic provided life changing surgeries benefiting children and young adults in need of cleft lip and palate repair. Patients traveled by bus and on foot from all over the landlocked country to be assessed for the possibility of surgery at no cost to the patient.
A year ago CMI was introduced to a young girl named Grace, who at the age of six had never seen a doctor for her birth defects. She and her father traveled from the remote village of Gusu so she could be the first patient to undergo surgery to repair her unilateral cleft lip, causing her to be an outcast among other village children. Grace was not even allowed to attend the local school because of this. Before CMI left Malawi Grace would bless the team with the first joyful smile of her young life.
Beginning with Grace’s surgery on February 19th Dr. Gosman and Dr. Khosla operated in tandem, supported by CMI operating room nurses, anesthesiologists, anesthesia technical support, post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses, and even local physicians and nurses. Every supply used in the 40 surgeries was a donation raised by CMI, including anesthesia machines, surgical headlights, instruments, suture, and medications.
CMI team members, also being educators from UCSD, Stanford University and Rady’s Children’s Hospital San Diego, gave presentations to local physicians and health care professionals on speech therapy, anesthesia, operative care and dental care in relation to the surgeries performed. A collaborative learning and working partnership between CMI and the local healthcare professionals will ensure the longstanding multidisciplinary care of the children of Malawi who would otherwise not have access to this type of specialty surgery.
Committed to the continuation of care, CMI Director, Sherry Colburn remained in Malawi several days to finalize the team's next trip in August of 2014. Priorities in 2014 will be patients that were ineligible for surgery due to illness or malnutrition on this trip as well as follow-up surgeries on previous patients. CMI has been approached with future projects in Southern India, additional countries in Africa, and continues to maintain ongoing educational/surgical projects in Mexico.
CMI is a 501(c)(3) public charity and all teams volunteer their time and expertise. CMI is able to provide these surgeries with the help of donations from the public and private sector. The CMI annual fundraising gala will be on July 20, 2013 on the Bahia Resort and Hotel’s authentic 19th century sternwheeler, the William D. Evans. Each ticket includes dinner and drinks, a fireworks show, and cruise around Mission Bay.
The mission statement of ConnectMed International is the promotion of sustainable multidisciplinary health care and education. This is accomplished through the combination of direct medical care and the establishment of an interactive telemedicine network between international sites. ConnectMed International was founded by pediatric plastic surgeon, Dr. Amanda Gosman in 2010.