Cleft lip and palate team ready for new mission to Mongolia
Taipei, July 18 (CNA) A charitable medical delegation led by Taiwanese specialists in cleft lip and palate repair will leave for Mongolia August 21 to treat patients there who have the condition, a local foundation said Monday.
The Taipei-based Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF) has been working to arrange the trip since it first visited Ulan Bator in 2010, when it helped 22 people with craniofacial deformities, said Rebecca Wang, the foundation's executive director.
The foundation, in cooperation with Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, has worked to improve the treatment of children with craniofacial deformities in many Asian countries, including Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia.
Mongolia is the 10th country it has helped, and it will lead a medical delegation of 13 doctors and experts to the landlocked country in August with the financial support of Rotary International, hoping to help at least 25 patients during the five-day stay.
Aside from sending missions to foreign countries, the foundation also invites doctors from those regions to Taiwan to attend three-to-six-month training workshops, Wang said.
"We want to provide the most practical and most sustainable assistance possible," she said.
To date, five Mongolian doctors have joined the program, helping nearly 250 patients in the Central Asian country.
An even more well-rounded team will be formed once speech pathologist Bulgan Baasan and surgeon Ayanga Gongorjav finish their training in Taiwan at the end of July, Wang said.
According to the foundation, a well-rounded medical team in the field should be comprised of surgeons, anesthetists, dentists and speech therapists.
"I'm very happy and satisfied... I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience here in Taiwan," Baasan said of her three-month training program.
"I strongly believe I can help more cleft lip and palate patients in Mongolia."
Gongorjav, who is also the president of the Mongolian Cleft Lip and Palate Association, expressed his gratitude for Taiwan's help.
Although Mongolia has worked with Japan and South Korea before, the cooperation with Taiwan has been "real and wide," he said. Besides giving free operations in rural areas, Taiwan also provided training workshops and medical equipment to help as many people as possible.
"Taiwan has changed our concept of (medical) treatment," he said.
The NCF expected that better equipment and a more complete homegrown medical team would benefit thousands of cleft lip and palate patients in Mongolia. (By James Lee) ENDITEM/ls
Published: July 18th, 2011
By: CNA James Lee