The mission was so well received by everyone involved that, as Dr. Abraham continues, “The goal on future trips is to involve the residents even more with the work we do taking care of kids with cleft lip and palate. The goal for the future is that these doctors will learn how to take care of these patients and will pass on these skills to even more doctors in Ethiopia and throughout the region. As the saying goes, and I am paraphrasing here, you can either give someone a fish, or you can actually teach them how to fish and be self-sufficient. I think this is a good model for us to foster, and it’s something I'd like to see implemented at one of our new sites in India as well.”
Dr. Wiedermann adds, “I was not sure how having full surgical teams, SLPs and administrators was going to work in our clinical setting but I was overwhelmingly pleased with the outcome. We were able to provide comprehensive care to our complex surgical patients and push our medicine to a whole new level."
We often hear how selfless our teams are for donating their time, energy and skills to treating those most in need. On the contrary, we feel quite selfish and honored to be able to use our expertise to change patients’ lives for the better and in Mekelle, share our expertise with the doctors that will be treating patients in Ethiopia for years to come.