The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately limited Global Smile Foundation's ability to conduct our scheduled missions in Guayaquil, Ecuador. We continue to provide much-needed care for our patients and their families via Telehealth & also provide them with infant formula, specialized bottles, medications & other necessary supplies.
Cleft is an opening in the lip or palate that develops during pregnancy. Without access to proper care, children born with cleft lip/palate are at a higher risk of malnutrition, poor health, poverty & death. GSF patients live in communities where access to specialized care is extremely limited. Cleft affects facial appearance, carries significant social stigma & interferes with feeding & communication. Growing up with untreated cleft can have debilitating & life-long impact.
By providing necessary care and supplies, this project will enable GSF to safely provide comprehensive cleft care for our patients via Telehealth. Our teams will follow-up with patients, continue speech therapy and psychosocial care, and assess overall health and nutrition. Parents of infants born with clefts will receive feeding guidance & assistance for their babies. With proper care, GSF patients will be able to grow and thrive despite the current global pandemic.
GSF is the largest provider of comprehensive cleft care in Ecuador and maintains relationships with hundreds of patients. We have seen that proper care reduces the risk of poor health, poor nutrition & bullying for children born with cleft. Our patients are able to attend school, integrate into their communities & have productive lives. Without the financial & social burdens of caring for a child isolated at home, their families are in stronger positions able to access communities & employment.