Lingayen – The Operation Smile - Philippines, an international non-profit organization, facilitated the free-of-charge operation of some 32 cleft lip and cleft palate patients on February 27-28 at the Lingayen District Hospital (LDH).
Screening of the patients was done on the 26th of February before the two-day scheduled surgery.
The medical-surgical mission by the Operation Smile in the province was held in partnership with the provincial government led by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. through the Provincial Health Office.
“This is the first time that we conducted a medical mission in Pangasinan to conduct surgeries for cleft lip and cleft palate patients,” Weng Velasquez, Program Coordinator of the Operation Smile, said.
Expressing gratitude to Governor Espino for allowing the medical group to have medical mission in the province, Velasquez said that the surgical operation done was “well coordinated and supported by the management and staff of the PHO and the district hospital.”
The cleft lip and cleft palate patients, mostly young Pangasinenses with aged 2 years old and up (adolescent age), thanked Operation Smile for giving them free surgery.
Jen Fernandez, a 39-year-old mother of a cleft lip and palate patient, said the activity was very helpful to Pangasinenses, especially for those who lack financial capability to undergo cleft lip and palate surgery which cost a big amount in a private hospital.
“Sa akin ito yung mga pinaka-aabangan ko ever since ipinanganak ‘yung anak ko,” Fernandez, a resident of Tayug said.
When asked about how she was informed about the surgical mission, Fernandez said she’s been updated of the upcoming events and whereabouts of the province through the official facebook fanpage of the province --www.facebook.com/pangasinan.gov.ph.
Medical equipment and supplies used during the two-day operation were brought into the hospital by the medical group that was led by Dr. Jun Caparas, a renowned plastic surgeon of Belo Medical Group; Dr. BG Alcantara; Dr. Edwin del Rosario and Dr. Lito Alava.