There is a shortage of speech pathologists and audiologists in Northern Thailand. As a result, many children do not receive this much needed care.
In 2012, TF and Smile Train co-supported speech and dental camps to help children in this underserved area access speech therapy and dentistry services.
In 2013, Speech Camps continued to provide decentralized speech therapy, as well as oral health education for children and adults affected by cleft in the rural regions of Thailand and Laos.
Over two years, 18 patients from distant communities received speech therapy with the support of speech language pathologists (SLPs) from four hospitals and two universities.
Four intensive speech camps and another five quarterly follow up meetings took place. Eight speech assistants were trained to provide weekly speech sessions in rural locations.
In future, TF hopes to expand this Speech Camp into Laos, where there is a lack of services. The camp’s 18 patients will continue to receive follow up care.
Those who attended the camps were very appreciative of the care they provided.
“I am glad to have this project. I would like to thank the staff and teachers. My granddaughter has good speech now. The teachers at school say my niece can speak clearly like other children and gets along well with her friends,” said Mrs. Saengdao Wimonrat from Mae Jan district.
Mobile services, such as these camps, are helpful for patients in regions where limited health care services exist, especially at the border of both Myanmar and Laos.
Our partner hopes to continue this camp system and possibly replicate this system in other underserved regions of Thailand.