October 10, 2010
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Operation Smile Mission in Kenya is pleased to announce the successful completion of the international medical mission to Kisumu, Kenya, at New Nyanza Provincial General Hospital. An enthusiastic team of volunteers from Ireland, Thailand and United States as well as from seven different Kenyan sites worked tirelessly to screen over 268 eligible patients and provide free medical care to 137 of them. Eighty-eight patients returned for their one-week post-operative evaluation and not one had any complications. They will return in May of 2011 for a six-month follow up.
This year’s team was comprised of over 50 medical and non-medical volunteers who worked alongside local volunteers and unselfishly gave so much of their time, energy and compassion to change the lives of several children and their families.
Two little neighbor girls were sure to bring a smile to all our faces. Roda and Rebecca were both born with cleft lips and traveled for several days to the mission to receive surgery. Roda’s aunt, Julieta, heard about Operation Smile's mission and as she prepared to bring her, she was told about Rebecca’s condition and graciously agreed to bring the two girls to our mission.
These two girls come from the Samburu tribe, a pastoralist community found in the North Western part of Kenya. These people walk for hundreds of miles, in search of pasture for their livestock; making it extremely difficult for three-year-olds like Roda and Rebecca to access medical help. The family arrived in Kisumu on the second day of screening and stayed until they were ready to go home. As they waved us good bye, their beautiful smiles spoke more than words.
It is a tribute to the volunteer spirit that doctors, nurses, board members, and volunteers from all walks of life were able to come together and make the medical mission successful.
We would like to thank the Safaricom Foundation for funding the Kisumu Mission. Special thanks also go to, OSMIK Board, Kisumu Board, the Ministry of Health, Operation Smile Inc., local donors and all other countless volunteers and partners who worked tirelessly to create an environment whereby everyone could focus 100% on providing the best possible care to the children of Kenya.
The medical mission was visited by representatives from major media houses which, was extremely helpful in increasing awareness of Operations Smile’s programs. The overall attitude at the conclusion of the mission was unbelievably positive and it is that positivity which will help to foster new partnerships and enthusiasm in Kenya and in the region as a whole.
Once again, it was a delight to work with each and every one of you who contributed to the success of this mission. By working together, we have helped to dramatically change 137 lives and by doing so, help to change the entire world.
- Diana Gathiga, Program Coordinator, Operation Smile Mission in Kenya
Tags: From the Field