The Sandy Lane Charitable Trust (SLCT) today revealed that a partnership between the trust, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the World Pediatric Project (WPP) has successfully completed 103 orthopaedic surgeries on 89 children under age 18.
The surgeries are valued in excess of $20 million.
During a special ceremony to mark the achievement and to announce that the project was being expanded to accommodate children suffering from other health challenges, trustee Julian Sacher, indicated that while too many orthopaedic operations may not seem life-threatening, when left unattended they cause severe and permanent damage to other organs, and also harm the psyche of the child.
Sacher said for the children who benefitted from the surgeries, being able to run, stand tall, and hold their head high was worth every dollar spent.
For those children not immediately requiring surgeries, SLCT has funded many different types of support including leg and back braces and various orthotics, including special shoes, inserts and castings.
Sacher said: “The exciting news is that this partnership is also looking to expand. Doctors and associates from WPP will also be coming to Barbados over the next few months [to evaluate] health risk cerebral palsy patients. We are also excited to report that the World Paediatric Project has included Barbadian children in their cardiac programme.
“Sandy Lane Charitable Trust will be funding children to go overseas for these life-changing operations. It is difficult to try and put into words the difference this partnership has made to us at the Trust.”
SLCT has also funded several doctors and physiotherapists to travel overseas to observe operations and learn of new techniques from the WPP teams in their native hospitals.
Trustees are now hoping that since the backlog has almost been eradicated, the QEH orthopaedic team will use operating theatre time to complete more routine cases on a more regular basis.
Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic said philanthropic efforts such as those undertaken by the SLCT and WPP, do not only provide benefits to those who are the recipients of services rendered, but accrue benefits for the organisations that provide services.
Lt. Col. Bostic said at the highest level there was a strong sense of solidarity, the knowledge of helping others, caring, loving and giving for the wellbeing of others.
The Minister said: “Discussion on philanthropy in today’s economic environment, may naturally lead many persons to conclude that our interest as a Government is spurred on by our difficult economic position at this time.
“However, philanthropy is a vehicle for encouraging and cultivating the participation of civil society in national development. In planning for the health sector, our approach for many years has been to embrace a whole-of-society approach, together with the whole-of-government approach for the public sector.
“The adoption of these approaches has been driven largely by our response to the NCD epidemic, and our efforts to reduce the damaging effects of these diseases on our population, especially our children.”