Sisaket province, northeast Thailand - 9 January 1999
0.00 Close up boy with cleft lip, seen through bars of hospital cot
0.07. Girl with harelip
0.11. Boy in hospital bed, colouring book in hand
0.25. Doctor examines child's mouth
0.19. Wide shot child taken into operating room on a stretcher
0.26. Close up monitor
0.28. Doctor operating on boy
0.32. Close up doctor's face
0.36. Close up boy's mouth as operation is carried out
0.41. Wide shot operating room full of doctors
0.44. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr. Piyoros Preeyanont, Duangkaew Foundation
0.53. Close up woman and child
0.56. Close up boy
1.01. Two young girl patients
1.04. SOUNDBITE: (Thai) Sinam Kingkaew, parent
1.13. Close up boy's face
1.16. Wide shot hospital ward
Thai based mobile unit deals with approximately 500 - 600 cases a year and makes regular monthly trips to help the handicapped and under privileged patients in the remote areas of Thailand. As the medical missions are staffed solely by volunteers that have permanent jobs each trip lasts for 3-4 days, normally 30-50 cases will be completed per trip.
In addition to the treatment of Cleft lip & Cleft palate patients, FORHAP has a Speech Therapy Team for training patients after the operation, helping them to speak properly, sometimes for the first time and restore their confidence so that they can regain their childhood. This team accompanies the operation team every trip.
Dr. Piyoros writes: "On our first mission to Fang Hospital in Changmai Province in 1998. We were introduced to an eight-year old girl with bilateral cleft lip deformity that made it difficult to eat and talk. She had walked a long way all the way from the mountains and had been waiting for us at the hospital for 2 days before the team arrived.
Unfortunately at this time we did not have a mobile anesthetic machine so we could only give her local anesthesia. During the operation she must have been in great pain because her tears came down from both eyes. We asked her but she would only shake her head because she could not speak Thai properly.
Next year we returned to visit her, the scar had healed well and we were greeted with joy from her. She smiled and looked very happy. She ran to hug me and said “Thank you very much for your surgery, from now on I can go to school and need not to hide from the others any more”She could only say these few Thai words which she had learned by heart.
Her response touched the heart of everyone in our team, and it was a key turning point to forming a more permanent medical team with the proper equipment to make a difference."