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News from Cleft Bolivia

Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe: DZI seal renewed for 2021


Careful use of the donations entrusted to us is one of our core principles. We keep our overhead costs low to be able to help as many patients as possible. We are very happy to announce that these efforts have again been recognized: The German Central Institute for Social Issues (Deutsches Zentral Institut für soziale Fragen, DZI) renewed for another year its certification of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe, the initiator of The Cleft Group, as a charity conforming to the highest standards in the transparent, efficient and responsible use of donated funds. This marks the eighth year in a row we have been awarded the seal - a wonderful confirmation of our work.



Jiwaqui celebrates 1000 cleft children operated


With little Jhuston, who received his surgery a week ago in La Paz, Cleft Bolivia partner Fundación Jiwaqui Bolivia (https://bit.ly/31m1ICm) celebrated its 1,000th patient operated. Our collaboration with Dr. Mamani and his team started five years ago. Fundación Jiwaqui Bolivia also offers accompanying treatments for cleft patients under the comprehensive cleft care paradigm. We wish Jhuston all the best for his future!



Welcome to new Cleft Bolivia partner Ayninakuna


Cleft Bolivia is happy to announce the addition of a third partner organization to the Cleft Bolivia team, the well-respected aid organization Ayninakuna (https://www.ayninakuna.org/). Ayninakuna was founded in 2017 by the experienced surgeon Dr. Roberto Edmundo Rosa Ressini, who had already been treating cleft children for many years by then and sadly passed away only one year later, in 2018. But his work lives on: Ayninakuna is committed to delivering sustainable and comprehensive help, as we are. In addition to the necessary surgical interventions, Ayninakuna also offers dentistry, orthodontics, NAM therapy and psychosocial care for the families.



Focus on further education in Bolivia


Dr. Adolfo Mamani and our Jiwaqui Bolivia team are committed to offering their patients only the best possible care. To ensure this, he and his team are continuously educating themselves further. From January 2 to 22, Dr. Mamani, nurse Jasminia and the two speech therapists Claudia and Shirley participated in a training seminar at Fundación Gantz in Santiago de Chile, which included a three-week rotation with the experienced cleft surgeons and speech therapists of the Hospital Del Niño Con Fisura. The professional exchange with the Chilean doctors and therapists was very productive and the team returned to La Paz highly motivated to apply what they learned to the benefit of their Bolivian patients.



Online therapies in times of Corona: safer, simpler, and better results

Taking advantage of the change to a more digitalized world that favored the coronavirus crisis, Jiwaqui has started offering speech therapies and psychological consultations online since June 1st. Previously, it had at times been very difficult for many patients to regularly attend their therapy sessions, especially if they lived far from Jiwaqui's office in La Paz.



Speech therapy

"Now, through this new form of online consultation, which makes regular participation every week easier for them, patients are missing fewer appointments and as a result better improvements can be seen," says Claudia, a speech therapist in La Paz. Online consultations are currently held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with patients from La Paz, El Alto and some of the provinces. Therapy sessions are held through Zoom if possible, or through a Whatsapp video call.



Psychological therapy

Psychological consultations are held on Mondays and Tuesdays with Lic. Psychologist Norah Mamani Alejo. "I like it because I can talk to the whole family and it is very exciting to listen to them and be able to make them commit and participate in the stimulation of the patient," Norah told us.



New problems and solutions

In the last consultation of the patient Deymar with his mother, the internet connection failed. But a creative solution was found: outside there was good reception, so they continued the session in the fresh air from their patio.



Sharing skills


Skill development and dissemination of specialist knowledge between our medical professionals is crucial to guarantee that all cleft patients experience optimal outcomes from their treatment. In this spirit, we are happy to announce that Cleft Bolivia language therapist Claudia Bautista Mamani will participate in the Comprehensive Cleft Care workshop in Lima in October. The participation fee for the workshop was waived for Claudia, and DCKH additionally supports her participation with a travel subsidy. The remaining funds come from Claudia and Jiwaqui. After the workshop, she is to receive additional specialist training by speech therapist Margot Luque Tipula of the Cleft Peru partner organization QORITO and other members of the Peruvian interdisciplinary cleft team.



Congress for labiopalatinal fissure - a great success


From July 31 to August 2, 2019 some 200 international medical professionals in the field of cleft treatment, including surgeons, language therapists, orthodontists, and psychologists, met in La Paz to discuss the interdisciplinary treatment of cleft at the First international congress for labiopalatinal fissure in La Paz, Bolivia. The congress was hosted by Cleft Bolivia partner Jiwaqui Bolivia, the Bolivian association for cleft lip and palate and cranofacial deformities, the Bolivian society of pediatric surgery, and the Bolivian national health insurance's obstetric and pediatric hospital. Also present were parents of cleft children, who have organized into an interest group.