Maria Teresa Torres de Salcedo, from Lima, Peru, has inspired many patients and their families with her humble and determined approach.

Peru has one of the highest rates of cleft lip and palate in South America, occurring in one of every 500 live births. A major barrier to care was the lengthy transportation times faced by families.

Maria Teresa created KusiRostros, a nonprofit that provides cleft lip and palate rehabilitation services through four community rehabilitation centers (CRCs), which have allowed families to receive free treatment close to home. 

In the first year, a total of 240 children were treated through four CRCs and an additional CRC was added to meet demand. The travel times have been cut from 2 hours to 20 minutes for most families. 

Want to know more about decentralized healthcare? Want to meet TF’s partner?

Join us at OCIC Focus in Development: Is Decentralized Healthcare the Best Approach? Lessons Learned from Peru on Friday, March 21 from 12 noon to 2pm in Toronto. The session will be held at Volunteer Toronto  at 344 Bloor St W, Suite 404, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3A7. 

In countries where healthcare is scarce or inaccessible, one strategy is to relocate services from hospitals to peripheral health facilities or outside of health facilities altogether. This process of
decentralization aims to position healthcare more fully in the community and allow patients to continue their care.

In this session we will discuss the challenges and victories of decentralized care, empowering local health professionals and families, overcoming barriers to care (such as local stigmas and transportation), creating alliances with hospitals and organizations, and the importance of monitoring health outcomes.