[ 2006-09-23 10:00 ]
An abandoned Chinese baby boy
with a cleft palate may be given a
free operation by an American charity after his plight was highlighted on the
China Daily website.
A doctor examines the abandoned
baby boy with a cleft palate at a local police station in Shenyang,
capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province.
He is just one of scores of youngsters the San
Francisco-based Alliance for Smiles
(AFS) hopes to help while it is in China.
On September 17, the infant was found under a bridge in Shenyang, the capital
of Northeast China's Liaoning Province. The child, thought to be about a month
old, was taken to the Shenyang Children's Welfare Institute.
Several pictures about
the baby were published on the China Daily website earlier this week and seen by
someone in the United States.
"My friend Jeannie Butler sent me an email from the US about the baby," said
South African Amanda Delange, who has been living in Xi'an, the capital of
Shaanxi Province, for a year, where she has been caring for six orphans.
Delange contacted Jennifer Guerra from AFS, knowing the charity was in China
to help children with cleft palates/lips
Guerra got in touch with Dr Colin C. Wong, leading the current medical team
in China. But as Dr Wong had no idea about how to find the boy, he turned to
China Daily for help. On September 21, the paper contacted the Shenyang
Children's Welfare Institute.
After finding out the baby's age, Dr Wong said it would be risky to do an
operation now. But he added: "We will come back next year. Then, if possible, I
want to help the boy and do the operation."
He said that this time around, his team will carry out operations on 110
children in Northeast China for free.
The current AFS project, organized with the help of the Shenyang Red Cross
Society, focuses on young patients with cleft palates/ lips in Shenyang and
other cities in Northeast China, according to Liu Xicheng, vice-president of the
Shenyang Red Cross Society.
"Our aim is to provide a free service for children from low-income families
and orphans," said Liu.
The medical team has 32 members from around the world including Canada,
Australia and America.
In order to help more patients, the local Red
Cross started working early last month in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang
Provinces, added Liu.