Some 50 children born with cleft-lip and palate from across Bohol and other provinces will benefit from free surgeries provided by surgeons and nurses from California.
The surgical mission conducted by Davis, California-based non-profit organization, Faces of Tomorrow, is held from January 9 to January 14, 2023 at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Medical Center in Tagbilaran City.
Faces of Tomorrow which has been conducting annual surgical missions in Bohol as early as 2017 is back in the province for the first time since the pandemic broke out early in 2020.
According to Bhoniemae Malaga, program manager of the Abounding with Love Organization which helped organize the surgical mission, the 20 American and Filipino-American surgeons and nurses arrived in Bohol on Sunday.
They started their operations on Monday and have so far operated on more than 20 individuals as of Tuesday.
“Mo tahi ni sila og four months pataas sa lip and sa palate, bisag dagko na—naay uban 20 kapin na—naka schedule pud. So as long as healthy ang patient mo tahi ra gyud sila walay age limit,” said Malaga.
Most of the beneficiaries are from Bohol while a few are from Siquijor and Bukidnon.
According to Malaga, Faces of Tomorrow previously targeted to conduct surgeries on 60 to 75 children but has limited the number to just 50 due to the persisting pandemic.
“Sa karon, naa pa ganiy daghan nanawag namo nagpascreening unta pero limited ra man ang ilang capacity ron sa hospital tungod lagi kay COVID,” said Malaga.
Faces of Tomorrow is providing the free surgeries with the assistance of Cebu City-based Abounding in Love which offers free food and transportation to the beneficiaries.
Malaga said Faces of Tomorrow carries out surgical missions in various other countries but in the Philippines, they have so far only implemented the program in Bohol.
Faces of Tomorrow, with the assistance of Abounding in Love, has offered free surgeries annually in the province since 2017.
In the three-year span, around 200 individuals in Bohol have benefitted from the free surgeries which Malaga estimated to cost around P100,000 for each operation.
Malaga noted that the program was put on hold from 2020 to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AD)