Jowel Francisco Admans Fernandez runs around the small room and curiously inspects a bookshelf full of comics. His mother scolds him to stay seated. He flashes her a grin and continues to run around the small two room clinic.
Jowel, pictured here at 1 year and 2 months old, shortly after his palate repair. His mom says he loved to smile for cameras.
The vivacious youngster looks up at the dentist, Fiorella, and suddenly starts to cry. He moves towards his mother, burrowing his face in her lap as Fiorella places a mask on her face. His mother explains that Jowel is used to nurses and hospital settings, but he is still afraid of masks. His mother calms him down so they can continue with the check up.
Born with a cleft lip and palate, Jowel’s mother heard about KusiRostros through an advertisement. She reached out and credits the team psychologist with helping her accept his condition and equipping her with much-needed information.
At four months old, his lip was repaired, followed by his palate in August 2013. He’s been taking speech therapy sessions at the KusiRostros office, a 20 minute commute from their home, since he was 5 months old. His mother also attends nutrition and information sessions at the centre.
Jowel, with his mother and Fiorella, the dentist at KusiRostros
We have partnered with KusiRostros to establish four Community Rehabilitation Centres (CRCs) in impoverished areas surrounding Lima in 2012. Housed in a clinic or health post, each centre has a dentist, speech therapist and nurse co-ordinator, and offers families the medical, feeding and counselling support they need, close to home.
Our goal was to treat 100 children in the first year of our three year pilot project. A total of 200 children were treated over the past year and an additional CRC was opened to meet demand.
While our CRCs are taking care of basic needs, the demand for more comprehensive interventions are on the rise. Esteban Lasso, TF’s Executive Director, has just returned from a trip to Peru where he was able to meet with public hospitals, university clinics and other charities in order to find dentistry and orthodontic solutions for children and adults with cleft lip and palate.
Stay tuned for more from our project in Peru. In the meantime, why not support comprehensive care?