Dr. Irwanto dr., Sp.A (K) as volunteer at Women and Children's Special Hospital in Taunggyi, Shan State, Myanmar. (Private Doc)
UNAIR NEWS – With an intention to help easing the suffering of cleft lips patients, Irwanto dr., Sp.A (K) became a volunteer doctor in other country. Irwanto accepted the offer of Smile Asia Foundation to join as a volunteer doctor. Not in Myanmar again, but in India.
Community service activities in the form of free cleft lip surgery was held on 20-25 May 2018 at Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, Panbazar, Guwahati, India. This social event was fully supported by Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Center Mission Smile which is specialized in providing medical treatment for children with cleft lip.
Irwanto became the only medical personnel from Indonesia who joined dozens of other medical personnel from various countries.
The team was a combination of several nurses, plastic surgeons, anesthetic doctors from USA, Japan, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and two pediatricians from India. They worked together to handle the surgeries of 100 patients with cleft lip within five days.
Fasting for 15 hours did not prevent Irwanto to keep working in social activity. He was in charge of screening all the patients who are eligible for surgery, as well as responsible for the post-operative treatment process.
Patient recovery process became easier as the hospital had comprehensive therapy facilities, from pre-surgery and postsurgery screening including nutrition and postsurgery speech therapy in one building.
Volunteer in Myanmar and Japan
It was not the first time Irwanto became a volunteer doctor. In 2017, the recipient of Global Travel Award by Bill and Melinda Gates 2015 joined in similar activities in Myanmar.
Together with medical teams from a number of countries, he conducted screening of dozens of children with cleft lip in Women and Children’s Special Hospital in Taunggyi, Shan State, Myanmar.
Irwanto has also been a volunteer doctor in Japan in 2013. At that time, the man who was born 27 February 1967 was in collaboration with Kobe University to hold a counseling in handling children with disabilities as earthquake victims.
For him, the opportunity to become a volunteer doctor gave him a lot of valuable experiences. One of them is feeling the experience of building the spirit and cohesiveness with a team of international doctors when handling hundreds of patients in a matter of days.
The opportunity to become a doctor volunteer in other country also proved that the competence of Indonesian doctors is acknowledged by other countries.
“This is not easy, because the doctors must meet the qualifications,” said the best graduates UNAIR in 2013.
In the next opportunity, Irwanto did not even refuse to be invited again to become a volunteer doctor. “It can be in Bangladesh, Mongolia, and Bhutan. Depending on the needs, “he said. (*)