A note from Esteban Lasso, TF’s Executive Director, who recently visited our Thai project in February 2013 and attended the latest speech camp.

Here are some more highlights from his latest trip to Thailand:

  • Promoting Good Practice in Cleft Care: In December 2012, our Thai partner hosted “Sharing Experience of the Quality Multidisciplinary Cleft Care” in order to get suggestions to improve the cleft care system.  There were 43 participants and the discussions focused on cleft care for children, youth and adults as well as the development of a birth registry.
  • Raising Awareness: Our partner, NWDF, produced 2 newsletters and distributed them to government sectors, organizations, all levels of municipal offices and also public health centers and local health stations in Chiangrai, Chiangmai and Phayao provinces. In addition to this, they also produced 2,000 leaflets both in Thai and English to publicize their cleft care services.
  • Local Fundraising: Our partner, NWDF, was able to raise 38,880.86 Baht (about $1,300.00 CDN) through donation boxes (at locations such as the Chiangrai Night Bazaar), individual donations from local Thai residents, YMCA volunteers and networks. TF sourced a fundraising volunteer to assist the team in setting up their own fundraising plan in order to offset the costs of the project and help them become self-sufficient.
    NWDF’s proposal, entitled “Filling Smiles for Sisters – Repair and Rehabilitation for Cleft Children in Northern Thailand” was submitted to the Lion Oral Health Award 2012 and received a consolation prize of 20,000 Baht (about $700.00 CAD). Their cleft care was praised as a coalition of different networks and partnerships from all sectors in society working together for over 10 years and benefiting children.
  • Orthodontic Guidance: Austin Chen, a Staff Orthodontist at Hospital for Sick Children, travelled to Thailand with TF to provide guidance and advice. He helped to guide local staff in their cleft lip and palate orthodontic techniques and also helped Dr. Kamonporn Nanekrangsun, our local orthodontist, make treatment choices for some very difficult cases. Children who are registered in our projects are growing and they need bone grafts and orthognatic surgery. Some of the cases that Dr. Chen evaluated are complicated because of the nature of their cleft but also due to the type of cleft and the loss of teeth which will affect the orthodontic treatment outcome. This underlines the importance of continued investment in basic oral health, which is our focus this year.The team also travelled to neighbouring Laos

Check out Austin’s photos of his trip here.