Twenty-two Bhutanese underwent surgery to treat cleft palate, cleft lip and fistula at Tarayana’s fifth surgical camp at Paro hospital

The camp screened 40 individuals on November 13; 22 were chosen for surgery.

The camp’s coordinator, Wangmo, said that people were made aware about the camp through media.

After the registration, screening process did a complete examination of the patient for the surgery.

“Looking at the number of patients here, we call a certain number of doctors from Smile Asia,” said Wangmo.

Smile Asia is a global alliance of independent charities working together to treat facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. The organisation has activities in about 20 countries, 13 programmatic countries, and seven resource countries.

Along with the doctors from Smile Asia, a pediatrician from Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital and a nurse from Paro hospital joined the surgical camp.

A resident of Haa, Yeshi Lhamo, said that her 5-year-old son underwent cleft palate surgery. “In 2013, my son went through a similar surgery for cleft lip. The two surgeries couldn’t be done at once.”

Wangmo said that patients receiving the surgery are mostly young, children between eight months and 10 years of age. “Many of them are from far off places. We also provide lodging and food for those coming from faraway places.”

Phurpa Lhamo | Paro