Alma’s son was born with a cleft lip and palate, he is 11 months old and lives in Dzitya, an indigenous Mayan community in the north of Mérida, Yucatan.
Alma has six direct relatives with this disease, which in most cases, is due to deficiency in the consumption of folic acid or an infection during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Carlitos, her son, was successfully operated and is currently in rehabilitation.
“These are very expensive surgeries and we do not have the money to pay it, it is a very big support for me and I tell you it’s going to help my baby in his life,” assured Alma Calderón Dzul.
Doctors from the United States and Yucatan operated 54 children with cleft lip and palate in the Maya area absolutely free of charge on . The objective is to offer a medical service in rural areas that can not afford an operation.
“Everthing is 100% free, surgeries, treatment and the management of patients,” explained Maria Flores, representative of the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic of the Government of Yucatan.
“For us plastic surgeons it is a great pleasure to perform these surgeries and to care for these children in need” explained Frank Estaady, a doctor from Orlando, Florida.
To access these free surgeries, the beneficiaries must belong to the Maya indigenous area, and from zero to nine years old.
“It allows girls and boys to smile, have a better health and a much better quality of life” said Limber Sosa Lara, director of the DIF Yucatan.
In Yucatán there are about 1,900 cases of children with cleft lip and palate, it is the third state in the country with the highest number of cases after Oaxaca and Chiapas. The national average is 7.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, but in Yucatán this figure goes up to 12 per 100,000 inhabitants.
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