Our thoughts are on Malawi
Sherry Colburn, Director of ConnectMed International has just returned from Lilongwe, Malawi on an advance trip to see first hand the working conditions and the need for surgical assistance from our team. What she found was a country ranked 10th poorest in Africa with many young children in need of cleft lip and palate repair. Surgical intervention will enable them to have a chance at a normal life. Malawi is one of the world’s least developed nations and also one of the most densely populated. Patients have already started being identified and through our telemedicine site, we are working with African Bible College Community Clinic to continue the patient identification process and help these children with their nutritional needs prior to our surgical mission trip in February of 2013. The CMI team will be the first to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries in this capital city of Lilongwe where the children have been pushed aside and been hidden away in the local villages. Many times these families do not even know that a cleft lip can be repaired with a somewhat simple surgery. We will keep you updated over the months on the progress of our first surgical trip to Africa and please know that your donations will go directly to patient care in Malawi.
In the coming months we hope to identify many more children like Grace and we will be sure to let you all know how the search is going.
In the meantime, there is much work to be done on the homefront. Inventory is well under way to determine everything we have, and what we still need in order to be able to go to Malawi next year. We are also assembling our team and are starting to coordinate logistics.
The OBA-1 Portable Anesthesia Machine
We need your support more than ever to make this trip happen. One of our greatest needs is to get one more portable anesthesia machine. One more machine allows us one more table to operate on, which means, more children have the opportunity to have their life changed. While increasing output is important it also increases safety. If we had one machine and it failed, then everything would stop. No more surgeries. If we have two, then we use the second as a back up. We are looking to raise support for this machine and are currently taking donations through our website. Remember, all charitable donations are tax deductible! https://www.connectmed.org/
May Jornada to Tijuana
Multiple times a year we take a team of volunteers on surgical outreach trips (Jornadas) to the Hospital Infantil in Tijuana, Mexico. On these trips we evaluate patients, perform surgeries, and prepare children for on-going follow up care via telemedicine from the US. A live telemedicine broadcast of the Jornada is shared with students at UCSD.
On our May Jornada we performed surgeries on two precious children, Paulette and Rafael. Paulette was operated on by Dr. Amanda Gosman and underwent repair of her cleft lip and palate, and nose. Rafael was operated on by Dr. Alicia Sigler and underwent a cleft palate repair. The surgeries were successful and both little ones are doing really well.
We had an unexpected surprise when Televisia, one of the largest media conglomerates in Latin America stopped by the Hospital Infantil during a telethon they were hosting. Dr. Gosman was interviewed and students from UCSD who were participating our
Thank you for your interest, care and support of ConnectMed International and our mission. We hope this leaves you inspired to transform lives in your own way, and to continue to help us do the same through direct medical care and telemedicine.