Kevin Ho, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Sydney Details Trip to Philippines

Another successful two weeks away on an Interplast Mission.

This time it was to a small island called Masbate in the Philippines. It was Interplast’s first mission here so lots of challenges – remoteness, culture and logistics. All in all a very successful pilot mission with another scheduled in 2015.

In the two weeks away, our team completed 102 procedures on 68 patients, 66 of which were children. The main procedures were congenital facial deformities such as cleft lip and palate as well as acquired deformities form burns due to the abundant use of naked flames for household cooking and heating in this poor community.

After transiting overnight in Manila, leaving our hotel on Sunday at 3am in the morning, we arrived in Masbate around midday to be confronted with a clinic full of patients and the expectation of operations performed that afternoon. Needless to say, that afternoon was hectic with our team divided between consulting and setting up an operating theatre for immediate action.

The pace remained much that way – hence the volume of cases we got through.

Many thanks to my team mates who made it such a rewarding and fun mission: Drs James Leong (plastic surgeon), Dr Luke Bromilow (anaesthetist) , Dr John Oswald (anaesthetist), and the amazing nurses Nelly Hartley and Catherine Gorr.

Thanks also to our sponsors and support on the ground: Filminera mines, Florencia Cayco, and Drs Jon and Mae.

Interplast missions like these not only change an individual’s life and prospects but engenders a greater community good in an area so poor that hope is sometimes forgotten.

Visit https://www.interplast.org.au to see how you can help.

My next mission will be to Cagayan de Oro this August.

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