SAN DIEGO – June 9, 2016 - A team of volunteer ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors and nurses sent by San Diego-based International Relief Teams (IRT) will head to Sula, Honduras on Saturday, June 11 to provide much needed surgery to one of Honduras’ poorest communities. During the one-week clinic, the team of eight volunteers will perform 35-40 surgeries and examine over 100 patients.
Due to poverty and a lack of access to surgical care, the residents of Sula suffer from medical conditions that are often fixed with quick, outpatient procedures in the United States. IRT’s medical team travels to the Hospital Socorro Del Lo Alto every summer and commonly conducts tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, ear tube placements, and nasal polypectomies. The team will bring most of their own medical supplies into the country including surgical gloves, sutures and medicines, because the hospital has a severe shortage.
“This yearly ENT surgery clinic we conduct is critical to the people in this community,” says International Relief Teams Founder and Executive Director Barry La Forgia. “About half of the patients we serve are children who are often very sick because they do not have access to much-needed surgical care.”
The team consists of skilled volunteers from across the country and will be led by Kelly Hardiman, R.N, of Bonita, CA. Kelly has volunteered with International Relief Teams in Honduras for more than 20 years. The team also includes Luis Salazar, R.N., Brooklyn, NY; Tracy Fulkerson, R.N., Spring Valley, CA, Nitin Dhamija, M.D., Eastvale, CA; Glen Yoshida, M.D., Thompson, ND; Doreen Somers, R.N., Edwards, CO; Jim Hayfield, R.N., Eugene, OR; Zoe Simmons, R.N., San Diego, CA.
International Relief Teams has extensive experience working in Honduras. In 1998, they sent emergency shipments of medicines and medical supplies following Hurricane Mitch which killed thousands and left many homeless. In 1999, IRT sent their first medical team to the region where they treated more than 1,300 patients suffering from water borne diseases and exposure to the elements. Since then, IRT has continued to respond to the severe shortage of medical specialists and surgeons in Honduras by sending cataract, ENT and other teams to the country.
San Diego-based International Relief Teams works to alleviate the suffering caused by poverty and disaster around the globe, from the forgotten corners of the world to right here at home, by sending volunteer teams and medical supplies to make immediate change for the world’s most vulnerable people. For more information visit: http://www.irteams.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.