This March I will be traveling to rural Bangladesh to provide anesthesia for infants and young children undergoing repair for cleft lip and cleft palate deformities. I am joining a team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals through a NJ-based non-profit organization called Smile Bangladesh. Our goal is to provide pro bono surgical repair and perioperative care to approximately 50-60 patients over the course of one week.
It is estimated that 300,000 children live with cleft deformities particularly in rural areas of Bangladesh where poverty and lack of access to healthcare leave these defects largely uncorrected. Cleft deformities not only cause children functional problems including difficulty with eating and developing speech, but also prevent them from fully contributing to their communities, as they are often shunned from society. Fortunately, a one hour surgery can fix these defects and completely change the trajectory of a child’s life.
Since medical school I have looked forward to participating in international medical missions. To be able to help give a child a brighter future with my training in the country that afforded me my first breath would be an incredibly fulfilling and gratifying experience.
I am funding this trip primarily on my own and I humbly ask for your support for costs associated with travel, visa, lodging, meals, equipment, etc. Please join me in my commitment to making a real impact on children’s lives. Big or small, I am so grateful for your contribution to this effort.
For more information on this cause check out
http://www.smilebangladesh.org/ Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you for reading!
- Karissa Barongan
- Joanna Machel
- Kristie Spindler
- sewana catoe
- Nadia Ahmed
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