Clinic Day Patient Being Evaluated by Interplast
Surgeons and Our Host Dr. Guillermo Quinde
Originally uploaded by interplast.
Hi, my name is Fran Cunniffe, trip logistics coordinator at Interplast. Although I help plan all of the surgical team trips, this is the first time I have had the opportunity to actually go on a trip as a coordinator/translator. Luckily I am part of a team consisting of many veterans of Interplast from all over the world - Nepal, New Zealand, Spain, Finland, Norway, Canada and the USA. The generosity of Ronald McDonald House Charities has made this trip possible, and I know that the children will be very grateful for their support.
Working in Azogues, Ecaudor has been quite an eye-opener already. As our host Dr. Guillermo Quinde explained, the health care system in Ecuador provides little help for the people who need it most. In addition to working at the Azogues hospital and teaching medical classes at the Catholic University of Cuenca, he works part-time for a foundation that provides surgeries to needy patients at half the price. But even that is too expensive for many people with little economic resources so they are unable to obtain the medical care they so desperately need. Dr. Quinde values his association with Interplast, especially because he is able to refer the neediest patients to Interplast. We have seen approximately 160 patients at our clinic today, and many came because he personally referred them to us.
One little girl came to clinic with her mother and brother, and we discovered that she was operated on by Interplast a few years ago for her cleft lip. She was now hoping her younger brother would have the same life-changing surgery as she had. I love being the translator when I tell patients that they have been approved for surgery, but it is so difficult and upsetting when I have to tell them to come back next year if the child is too young or unhealthy. That is when I wish the surgeons spoke Spanish!