– Natalia Rosales, Senior Program Director, Central America Program Director, US Referral Program
The COVID-19 global pandemic greatly limited World Pediatric Project’s ability to send medical teams. But the impact of the pandemic, while challenging and disheartening, led us to take a deeper look at our programs in Central America. We were resolute to identify ways to continue supporting our partners in this region from afar so they could heal children in need who could not wait for life-saving surgical care. Unlike some other regions, many countries in Central America do have pediatric specialists available to care for children with complex needs. However, access to surgical care is often limited to those with financial means. Accessibility to safe, well-equipped hospitals and affordability of surgical supplies make the cost of surgery unaffordable for many families.
Sponsoring Orthopedic and Cardiac Care Close To Home
With children unable to travel to the United States for urgent, critical care, WPP focused on sponsorships and collaboration with regional resources to increase access to care for children in Central America.
For cardiac care, WPP sponsorships helped provide 16 children from Central America with access to life-saving procedures closer to home through local pediatric surgeons.
Through new collaborations with regional prosthetic lab resources to sponsor care for children in the region, WPP has helped 7 children with prosthetic needs.
Honduras Local General Surgery Brigade
When a local surgical brigade in Honduras needed help funding surgery for children, WPP was there.
Dr. Craniotis, a Honduran pediatric general surgeon who has partnered with international groups for many years, coordinated a local surgical brigade to take care of the large volume of patients with anorectal malformations. He recruited local colleagues and secured access to a private hospital to perform surgeries. Despite offering a reduced rate per surgery, this amount was still prohibitive for most low-income Honduran families. WPP stepped in to support 12 children to receive surgery from this local brigade.
Honduras Neurosurgery Program
Dr. Octavio Fajardo, a Honduran pediatric neurosurgeon who has partnered with WPP’s neurosurgery teams for the last 13 years, continued to operate on children during the pandemic under the most challenging of circumstances. To help meet this challenge, WPP provided equipment like PPE and COVID test kits to keep Dr. Fajardo and his team safe, post-operative surgical supplies to treat surgical related infections, and a surgical loupe (a special eye piece which magnifies and enhances the surgical field) to make procedures safer.
Central American Program By The Numbers
July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021
children were served by WPP programs in Central America.
total services were providing including surgeries, procedures, consultations and therapies.