Rotary helps with reconstructive surgery in Chile

Published 6:03 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

Since 1993, Rotarians in Chile and the United States have teamed up to provide life-altering reconstructive surgeries via a program called Rotoplast. About 600 children are born in Chile each year with facial abnormalities. This program has helped thousands of children in Chile with cleft lips, cleft palates and other birth defects.

This year, a team of U.S. surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses visited Iquique, a Pacific port city about 80 miles south of Chile’s northern border. They brought expanded services and now have financial help from the nearby Collahuasi copper mine. Local Rotarians coordinate and pay for the medical team’s food, lodging and in-country transportation.

Using four operating rooms — one for cleft lip or palate, one for ear reconstruction, one for breast reconstruction and one for other issues — the team got to work. Patients were chosen based on need and on the complexity of the surgery. By the end of their stay, the surgeons and their staff had operated on 82 patients. Just one more example of Rotarians around the world helping where they can.