Metischai is a baby from Laos who was born with cleft lip and palate. His parents, farmers who grow corn, rice, and ginger, have two other children. His father is also the village health coordinator.
His father heard about our Thai project from Chiang Kham Hospital in Phayao Province and contacted our project for cleft lip and cleft palate surgery. In May, at 3 months old, our social worker made an appointment for a health assessment for Metischai. However, he had cold so he was given treatment for that.
Metischai’s cleft surgery was scheduled for July on the same day as Jue’s surgery so that the two families could support each other.
We partner with the Northern Women’s Development Foundation (NWDF) of Thailand to operate the Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate Repair and Rehabilitation Project in the cities of Chiangmai and Chiangrai.
The project originated as a response to the need for cleft lip and palate surgery for children from tribal groups in Northern Thailand, where many families cannot afford the costs of surgery and rehabilitation. Many do not hold Thai identity cards and do not benefit from public health care. Many of the project’s patients are members of these tribal groups, among them migrant workers from neighbouring Laos and Myanmar.