Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo medical mission
Operation Smile conducted a medical mission in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The team of 37 international medical volunteers from 10 countries aimed to provide reconstructive surgery to at least 100 patients with cleft lip, cleft palate and other craniofacial health conditions. The team surpassed their surgery goal and provided about 155 surgeries to children and young adults in need.
Jake Keller, an Operation Smile Program Coordinator in Kinshasa provided this report from the field:
"Today a 22-year-old patient arrived to the hospital after traveling for 15 days up the Congo River. The trip was supposed to take 10 days, but their boat broke down on the way. This patient showed up starving, thirsty and nervous that he was too late. Once the doctors heard the story, they came out to give him a medical evaluation to see if he could be a candidate for surgery after traveling so far.
Because he hadn't eaten or had anything to drink in several hours, he was already prime to get ready to head into surgery. Just two hours after he arrived to the medical mission site at the hospital, he was headed to the operating room. After surgery, he and his brother could not be more happy or thankful. It was a really great testament to the kind of work we do"
Operation Smile’s goal with its programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo expands beyond providing surgeries to treat cleft lip and cleft palate. Operation Smile is also committed to increase the surgical capacity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by deploying surgical programs, supplies and hosting education and training programs.
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