Black Immigrant Daily News
Aneeza Daniels before and after the first round of surgery
Five-year-old Aneeza Daniels, who suffers from cleft palate, has benefitted from much-needed surgical intervention under a Benevolence Programme offered by Food For the Poor (FFTP) Guyana.
The healthcare initiative, which was established in May last year, provides assistance to persons who need medical assistance but lack finance. More specifically, it caters to persons who need to undergo medical procedures that the public health sector is unable to provide.
A cleft palate is an opening or split in the roof of the mouth; this happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. For some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. For other babies, only part of the palate is open.
In an exclusive interview with this publication on Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of FFTP Guyana, Kent Vincent, shared that the organisation fully funded Daniels’ first surgery which was done at the Dr Balwant Singh Hospital.
The child, who hails from Region One (Barima-Waini), is scheduled to undergo a second surgery in March.
In addition to the healthcare programme, FFTP Guyana offers a help to vulnerable persons across the country in other areas such as housing, meals, among other things.
In the CEO noted that the organisation – just like any other – faces challenges in the execution of its mandate.
One of the most pressing challenges is reaching vulnerable persons in remote areas such as Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.
Other challenges including the increase in shipping costs and costs of living.
“Everything is going up as you know…so we’re looking at ways of improving efficiency, of how we clear containers, how we can accelerate our distribution, and then of course, we continue to negotiate with shipping companies so that we can keep our cost as low as possible,” Vincent outlined.
Despite the challenges, the organisation aims to make 2023 a successful year.
“This year, we’re going to continue to work on community development projects in those (interior) regions and continue to provide support for food security to a number of those hinterland communities,” Vincent posited.
FFTP began working in Guyana in 1991, delivering food and other basic items. Since then, the Florida-based nonprofit has expanded its services to meet the growing needs of the country’s disadvantaged residents.