Other Mission Sites
In 2010 Fazly Alahi, a native of Bangladesh currently living and working in Minnesota with his family, contacted Children’s Surgery International. He had a dream to make a connection between the US and Bangladesh that could bring much-needed medical care and education to his home country.
CSI responded sending two highly experienced medical mission team leaders, Donna Schroder and Jan Gauger to accompany Fazly and conduct site evaluations in northern Bangladesh. Rangpur Medical College was chosen. The hospital is located in the city of Rangpur, 8 hours north of the capitol of Dhaka.
The first surgical mission traveled to Rangpur in November 2011. The trip was a great success, performing 80 cleft-related procedures. CSI’s partnership with Fazly and his extended family, as well as the Rangpur Medical College were crucial in providing essential supplies, transportation, translation and support to our team. Our CSI medical team worked closely along-side local professionals, teaching and learning from one another.
A second team traveled to Rangpur in January 2013 for a similar, successful mission.
After extensive deliberations, Children’s Surgery International has decided to cancel the planned February 2014 mission to Bangladesh. We are saddened by the political unrest which has upset the election process and disrupted the lives of Bangladeshi citizens. Widespread strikes and road closures have resulted, and would make travel very difficult for CSI team members, as well as patients and their families. We are hopeful, and expect that plans for rescheduling the mission will move forward as the situation improves. We hope for stability and security for all in Bangladesh, and especially for our friends and colleagues in Rangpur.
CSI has been to Ghana three times, in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Surgeries included both cleft and orthopedic procedures, and were performed at Komfo Anochi Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Thanks to adequate training provided for the local medical professionals, CSI was able to discontinue missions to this location as they are now self-sufficient.
Peru was CSI's very first mission in 2003, and we have been back three times, in 2004, 2005 and 2009. Surgeries included both cleft and urological procedures, and were performed at Hospital Honorio Delgado in
Arequipa, and Las Mercedes Hospital in Chiclayo.
In September 2012 a team of eight Children's Surgery International volunteers traveled to Tunis, Tunisia to perform surgery on children suffering from Spina Bifida. The surgeries included correcting various spinal defects, and placing shunts to drain cerebral spinal fluid and treat hydrocephalus. The CSI team worked closely with the staff at Souska Clinic, Dr. Azzedine Stombouli, and Dr. Nejib Khouja along with his team. Dr. Khouja and his team were then able to continue this work after the CSI team returned to the US.
Because of the complexity of the surgeries, fewer were performed that our cleft lip and palate missions. The mission was very successful, much in part to the collaboration and partnership with Souska Cinic. Families traveled from various parts of Tunisia, and as far as 1000 miles away in Algeria to seek help for their children.
The hope and gratitude of patients and their families continues to be an inspiration for our missions, and there was no shortage of those sentiments here. Our thanks again to the wonderful partnership with physicians and staff of the Souska Clinic who were instrumental in making this mission a success. We would also think to express our gratitude to Minnesota International Medicine, and Dr. Sherif Saad for their generous support.
Before Children's Surgery International branched into its own entity, the Minnesota Chapter of Operation Smile traveled to Cambodia, China, Gaza, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, North Viet Nam and Venezuela. These missions were very important to our current organization in helping us define our goals and values, as well as gain perspective on the global need for cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries.
See pictures from our previous missions