Cebu Surgical Medical Programme 2023 – a proof of concept for the cleft care centre of excellence
Six Mölnlycke volunteers just came back from the first Surgical Medical Programme in Cebu, the Philippines, where a cleft care centre of excellence is about to open in the coming months. It’s not the first time Mölnlycke volunteers participated in a surgical mission organised by Operation Smile but this time is special because of its location and Mölnlycke’s involvement in the project.
The Surgical Medical Programme took place 17 – 22 September 2023 and was the first proof of concept for the Cebu10000 programme – a collaboration between Operation Smile and Mölnlycke started back in 2021 to establish a hub-and-spoke model of cleft care in the Philippines, with Cebu City Medical Centre (CCMC) functioning as the hub and centre of excellence for the whole country. The Cebu10000 programme is the next step in the evolution of our almost twenty-year-long collaboration with Operation Smile.
With the Cebu10000 programme we hope to increase access to cleft care in this underserved region by offering free and safe cleft lip and cleft palate procedures to 10000 young patients in the first three years of the centre’s operations. But the societal impact goes much further than that.
We work towards raising the level of competence of the local healthcare professionals, and have a common vision of offering comprehensive cleft care, from the moment the patient enters the local medical register, through screening, pre-operative environment, nutritional, dental, and logopaedic care, up until full recovery.
With this vision in mind we planned for the three surgical procedure days to be preceded by infection prevention training for healthcare professionals who will be manning the Cebu cleft centre of excellence or give training to other healthcare workers. The clinical specialists Judith Seltzer and Ann Folin delivered a training on Mölnlycke products and infection prevention to twenty one nurses. The demand for the training was much higher though as nurse education is hardly fomalised in the Philippines and every certification positively affects the chances on the job market.
Mölnlycke volunteers also witnessed the training and for many of them it was the first opportunity to meet the end user of the products they manufacture on an everyday basis.