Birgunj, Nepal -- Shankar Man Rai, plastic surgeon: It is the rice-planting season in Nepal so it is a difficult time or year for farmers to bring their children to the speech camp. It is also the rainy season and all the rivers are swollen. One farmer had to cross a river that is normally only knee level--but it had swollen to the chest level after the rains.
In spite of these difficulties a total of 27 children attended the speech camp in Birgunj. As you can see in the photo, the hotel rooms used by the children and their parents doubled as the space for our speech therapy sessions!
Twelve of the children were attending the speech camp for the first time while 10 had attended it once in the past, and only a few had attended it for more than three times.
Most of the children were found to have relatively good speech and our speech therapists think that most of them may be discharged after a couple of speech therapy camps. The relatively better speech results might be the result of our newer technique, Sommerlad muscle dissection, which gives good apposition of levators and also does retro positioning of velum. We are trying to analyze it.
In addition to the speech therapy conducted by the therapists and trainees, all the children were given a general dental assessment. We have called three patients to Kathmandu for closure of anterior fistula. Pawan has been very helpful in incorporating the dental works in our program. It is so good that Interplast was able to support him during his training in Pakistan.
We're looking forward to building upon the training these camps have provided our newest trainees at a four-day seminar in Kathmandu next month.