Orthopaedic Surgery and Dentistry Team
Ecuador has the fourth lowest income per capita in Latin America. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of Ecuador’s population lack immediate access to healthcare; 70 percent do not have health insurance.
Over the past 15 years, the EMAS Ecuador team, called Operation Esperanza, has completed hundreds of orthopaedic surgeries. They provide new hips and knees for those who could otherwise not afford them: the average cost of a hip or knee prosthesis is $2,000, while the average salary in Ecuador is less than $200 a month. The team also corrects club feet, addresses orthopaedic problems, and trains national surgeons. A dental team now accompanies them, conducting clinics and teaching school children about oral health.
January 2013 – In January, 2013, we were blessed with an excellent medical/dental mission. Our team consisted of 55 members, including surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, physiotherapists, dentists, dental assistants, and general helpers.
We saw a large number of patients in consultation, many of whom had had surgery in previous years. They were all doing well, even 10 or more years after surgery. Many patients were prioritized and booked for surgery. Others received medication, advice, and physiotherapy. During the week, we did 41 hip and knee replacements. The patients and their families were extremely grateful.
In 1997, Dr. Tom Greidanus, and his nursing team, had gone on a short-term mission to Ecuador. Dr. Manuel Avila, a local doctor, was so pleased to have help that he kept asking Dr. Tom Greidanus to return and help the people of Ecuador.
By 1998, the team was over 50 members strong, with Dr. Geidanus as the Team Leader. Now there are at least eight surgeons on the team, plus all the nursing staff. The team has returned to the same region in Ecuador nearly every year since that time.
Help bring mobility to those who cannot afford hip or knee surgery in Ecuador:
• $500 will cover one quarter of the cost of a prosthesis
• $1000 will cover half the cost of a prosthesis
• $2000 will pay the full cost of a prosthesis
TEAM LEADER: Dr. Tom Greidanus