As is the rest of the world, we are monitoring developments around COVID-19 and the information shared by the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and governments of the countries where we serve.
At this time, the Global Smile Foundation (GSF) office is closed, but our work is continuing. Fortunately, we were able to increase safety measures for our March 2020 cleft care outreach program in Guayaquil, Ecuador and our medical team performed 82 procedures for 55 patients, provided 70 Speech Therapy sessions, and distributed 200 oral hygiene kits. All of our volunteers were able to return home safely.
The impact of the novel Coronavirus is changing rapidly. Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our patients and volunteers, but we remain committed to the patients who need us. We are aware of the negative health impact that canceling our cleft care outreach would have on the lives of our patients. Thus, we will evaluate the public health situation in the coming weeks and determine the best course of action for each of our outreach locations.
We will be in touch directly with our volunteer teams and hope that our regular schedule of cleft care outreach programs will continue as soon as possible. GSF staff will be working remotely and are accessible by phone, text, and email if you have any questions.
With sincere wishes for your health and safety,
President, Global Smile Foundation