Facing the World to provide facial surgeries to 40,000 children
  • | VET | May 06, 2019 06:16 PM
A delegation of doctors from Facing the World, a UK-based charity that helps children with facial deformities by enabling them to receive craniofacial surgery, is cooperating with doctors at Hong Ngoc Hospital from May 4 to 11 to provide free check-ups and operations for poor children with facial deformities.


This is part of a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently between Facing the World, three Vietnamese partner hospitals (108 Military Central Hospital, Viet Duc University Hospital, and Hong Ngoc Hospital), and Vietnam Airlines and aimed at bringing a brighter future to more than 40,000 people with facial deformities.

The cooperation will ensure children can gain access to craniofacial surgeries to allow them to live normal healthy lives, Ambassador of the UK to Vietnam, H.E. Gareth Ward, addressed the MoU signing and expressed his appreciation towards Vietnam Airlines for joining hands with Facing the World to bring top quality doctors from countries such as the UK and Canada to Vietnam.

In addition to providing surgeries to over 40,000 patients, 140 Vietnamese doctors will also receive training and be exposed to the most advanced surgical technology. They also have the opportunity to obtain a scholarship from Facing the World to study in the UK.

As part of the cooperation arrangement, Facing the World will provide “In Touch” remote health check equipment to the hospitals, which is expected to open up a new chapter in broader and deeper international connections in medical training.

Established in 2002, Facing the World has arranged surgeries for thousands of children from 20 countries, including Vietnam.

According to a report from the Ministry of Health, around 5,000 kids are born with facial deformities every year, or ten times higher than in neighboring countries; the result of Agent Orange use during the American War.

Dealing with such cases requires a high level of expertise and challenges even experienced surgeons. Operations also require cooperation between multi-field specialists, such as neurology, otolaryngology, and oral maxillofacial, as well as modern medical equipment.

Facial deformity surgery is therefore not affordable for many families and is not covered by medical insurance, giving poor patients few opportunities to access treatment.

Only 1,000 or 1,200 facial surgeries are performed each year in Vietnam, meeting just 10-15 per cent actual demand, and major hospitals and medical clinics must rely on support from overseas doctors on medical missions. Aware of the pressing need, Facing the World has focused mostly on Vietnam over the last decade and played a crucial role in transforming thousands of disfigured faces in the country.

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