The MMFC Cleft team returned last week to the small town of Phalodi in the northern state of Rajasthan, India. The nine person team traveled for over two days to reach this remote site which graciously hosts the team each year.
Upon arrival at the hospital, the team immediately set out to screen the many cleft lip and cleft palate patients that had been anxiously awaiting the team’s arrival.
The surgeries were completed at HBS Hospital and Medical Research Institute which is a privately run charitable hospital.
The HBS hospital is run by Dr Kanti Jain (pictured below, on left) who also serves as MMFC’s local coordinator.
While the surgeries are a significant aspect of each mission, it is also important to make note of the innovative ways our patients find out that we are coming to their region and arrive at the hospital steps. Families travel many miles and many days to reach the hospital. The efforts of Dr. Kanti Jain and her staff to recruit patients are notable. In anticipation of our visit, Mr Devi Singh Rajpurohit (pictured above, on right), the hospital’s outreach coordinator, travels the region for four months and visited local villages, farms and schools announcing the expected arrival of the MMFC team.
As part of his outreach effort, Mr Rajpurohit had installed an enlarged photograph of a previous cleft patient on top of his vehicle. This was a way of educating the community on what type of surgeries the team would perform. He also worked closely with the local midwives to educate them on how to identifycleft patients. Mr Rajpurohit did an incredible job at screening each patient to ensure that the mission would be successful.
As a result, the MMFC team had a fully booked surgical schedule. These grassroots efforts are vital to the medical mission in Phalodi and without the help of our local team, our trips would not be as successful as they have been.
We thank our “family” here in Phalodi for your continued support of our work!