During our surgery missions to help cleft children in Caranavi and Potosí, Bolivia, Dr. Adolfo Mamani was able to treat 34 children with cleft lip and palate – thanks to donations from Germany. Great news for the children and their families, especially in times of the corona pandemic. It is not only the direct consequences of the pandemic like sickness and economic problems that hit the poor families hard: Many aid organizations also had to stop their work due to travel restrictions meant to stop the virus. As a result, many cleft children remain untreated.
In Bolivia there are few places for patients with cleft lip and palate to get help. There are only a handful of cleft surgeons, and outside of the big cities, medical care is generally not good. In addition, the majority of the young patients come from families with indigenous roots. They often live in unimaginable poverty. Many only speak their own languages – Quechua or Aymara – and no Spanish. This puts them at a further disadvantage in looking for help. To be able to help them, our experienced surgeon Dr. Adolfo Mamani travels the country outside of his hometown of La Paz on treatment missions. Dr. Mamani is part of our network Cleft Bolivia with his aid organization Jiwaqui Bolivia.
Daisy is one of the tiny patients who arrives in Potosí with her parents for a surgery. The journey was difficult and long. First a five hour march. Then a long bus trip. Upon arrival, however, the hardships of the journey are quickly forgotten. The operation is a huge milestone for Daisy and her parents. At the time of her operation, Daisy is not even five months old. Her whole life is ahead of her. Without our help, Daisy may have had to suffer under the consequences of the cleft all her life. She might have had a hard time making friends, might have had to endure ridicule and marginalization. Now she has the chance to grow up a “normal girl”.
With your donation to help children with cleft lip and palate in Bolivia, you are changing the lives of children like Daisy in a tangible and lasting way.