In mid 2014, Uplift Internationale was approached by Pennsylvania-based World Surgical Foundation to join them on a surgical mission to the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. With a population of 1.4 million people, it is the second largest city in Honduras, and is located in the northwest part of the country.
In the public hospital system of San Pedro Sula, there is only one plastic surgeon, whose time is filled primarily addressing the needs of crime and accident victims. For the small number of wealthy families, there are expensive private clinics, but for the great percentage of poor families in the area, there is little or no hope of having the facial deformities of their children repaired.
Led by UI board chair, Dr. Jerry Capoot, the UI contingent participating in this mission included 5 doctors, 6 nurses, and 3 support staff. The mission was held from October 5-11, 2014, in which there were five days of work in the hospital, followed by one afternoon visit to the sea coast. The visiting medical team was hosted very graciously by extraordinary women who call themselves “Groupo Ayudo” (Helping Group) who provided lunches, some dinners, in-country transportation, a marvelous send-off event, and many friendships.
Serving in support of World Surgical Foundation’s mission, Uplift was able to provide surgeries to 29 patients and contribute meaningfully to improving the lives of a total of 119 during the mission.
This was Uplift’s first mission in support of a partner organization and its first mission to a country other than the Philippines. It was a clear example of the organization’s ability to adapt to changing needs and serve effectively in a support capacity.