There are two local languages spoken by the people of this region; Tamil and Malayalam. While a high percentage of people in India speak and understand English, many do not. The majority of people who are seeking help have come from either the state of Tamal Nadu or Kerela and speak the local languages.
The importance of having translators is critical. Our translators have been the nurses, dental assistants, and one dentist, Sudesh, who has been magnificent. Sudesh, Subha, and Sunitha have been at the hospital on the overnight as well as the day.
The patients arrive the evening before surgery, are assigned a bed and wait. For some, the wait is long because their surgery may be scheduled in the late afternoon. Rotaplast team members brought toys, coloring, and games to entertain the children.
Most of the patients have come with whole families and extended families. Today, the 3rd day of surgery, we continue to examine and assess walk-ins. To date, we’ve examined 99 people.
In addition to helping children with cleft lip and palate, we’ve also seen many people seeking help for burns. Vijayan is 26. In 2004 she was living on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal when the Tsunami hit southern Asia. She was caught in a house fire and severely burned. Rotaplast will help release contracture of her neck.