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Nov 4, 2016

Children’s surgeries planned for Dangriga

The World Pediatric Project will be conducting surgery clinic at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga Town. The surgery clinic is only for children from birth to twenty one years old. The team of surgeons from the U.S.A. arrives on Saturday and will host a clinic on Sunday to set appointments for surgeries to be done Monday through Thursday. The team will be doing procedures that are not done in Belize and all of this will be free. We spoke with Programme Manager for the Belize office, Khandice Tillett.

 

Khandice Tillett, Programme Manager, World Pediatric Project Belize

“When they show up to the clinic, we fill out a registration form, we take a photo and they get a number. And then start doing triage with the nurse and then they are set up to go in to see the doctor.”

 

Reporter

“And this is day one?”

 

Khandice Tillett

Khandice Tillett

“This is day one. When the clinic is finished in the evenings, we sit down together with the doctors and we make the operative schedule; deciding which patients really need surgery and on what days we will do it. And then we start calling the patients to let them know that okay- you will be Monday, you will be Tuesday, so that they can prepare themselves; because most of the time parents need to get time off from work or get time from school for the kids or to notify the school actually.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the different things that the surgeons will be working on?”

 

Khandice Tillett

“So, it is important that patients who have cleft lips and cleft palates, they have burns, scars and we are also going to be seeing patients with nasal deformities, ear problems, lumps, bumps, growths, skin problems, facial and maxillofacial deformities.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And this clinic is free for the public?”

 

Khandice Tillett

“Yes. It is free and importantly it is for children from birth to 21 years. Because we have a lot of adults that would call us and we just want to get it clear that is for kids only.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The team that is coming from the US; talk to us about how many doctors are coming on that team?”

 

Khandice Tillett

“Okay. So, we have eight doctors and nurses coming from Richmond, Virginia to work at the clinic and to perform the surgeries.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Okay. They have been coming to Belize for how long and are they seeing repeat patients?”

 

Khandice Tillett

“They have been coming to Belize for the last fifteen years. And, yes, a lot of the patients they are follow up patients because in plastic surgery cases, they often have times that they need different stage of surgery. So, they will come one year to get something done and they will come the following year for their follow up.

We are bringing in two lead surgeons and Southern Regional Hospital has two operating theatres, so that is one of the reason why we go down to Dangriga year after year. As you know, the KHMH, they are the national referral hospital and they don’t have the capacity to shut down two operating theatres and give us that time.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How many people are you expecting to serve at this clinic?”

 

Khandice Tillett

“Well, normally we see a hundred and twenty patients and recently we have been doing a lot of advertising, so it may be more.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, they will be based in Dangriga, but can patients from around the country go down to the south for this clinic?”

 

Khandice Tillett

“Definitely. Patients country-wide can come to the clinic. Like I said, it starts at 8 and we advise patients to get there earlier than eight just because of the crowd and the space that might want. But they will see everyone that comes to the clinic, however, they might be prepared to wait. I would like to tell the public that the services that these doctors provide are not available in country, so this is the perfect opportunity for them to come to receive the treatment that they need.”

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