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        Bridge the Gap 

In 1994, a partnership was formed between Maxillo-Facial Plastic Surgery Institute of the University in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, and the Medical Centre of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. 
The purpose of this partnership was the exchange of technical and radical knowledge in surgey of patients with Cleft Lip and Palate.
Prof. Dr. J.W. Mulder, Head of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, guided this partnership not only as a surgeon, but also as Chairman.

Every year a team of surgical specialists from the Netherlands guide the local medical staff through various procedures to improve the skills of their surgeons, doctors and dentists.  Patients arrive from all over the country to take advantage of receiving treatment provided by plastic surgeons, maxmilla-facial surgeons,anesthetists and dentists.  These doctors give up two weeks of their annual leave to treat patients who often extremely poor and live far away from the hospital where the treatment is being carried out.
In some cases the doctors and dentists travel in the poorer regions to carry out their work.

After 10 years of work in Vietnam, Bridging the Gap expanded to Laos and for the past years have been carrying out the same work at the University Hospital Mohosot in the Capital of Laos. The Foundation receives funding from lectures and private donations. 
 The local International Women's Club helped by funding patients food and travel.

Members of Bridge the Gap all work gratis. Donations are used for travel costs for the children, their parents and accompanying guides. They are also given money for food, medical expenses, medication and even admittance to hospital for several weeks in intensive care, etc. The local cost of the operations and the necessary diagnostic means are paid by the organization. In addition to that they spend a lot of money on improvement to the facilities of the hospital.

In the coming years, the program aims to provide more training for and instructions to surgeons and dentists in Laos. Bridge the Gap wants to involve the Laos government with the projects so that eventually they will be able to financially carry the project themselves. In addition, a substantial contribution will be made to outfit the newly built surgical ward of the University Hospital Mohosot. Bridge the Gap will pay for the equipment and instruments for performing operations.

 Click here to visit the "Bridge the Gap" website



We welcomed to our September 2015 meeting Stichting Bridge the Gap representative, J. Wiebe Mulder, MD, PhD, Plastic Surgeon. He is Emeritus Professor in Plastic surgery, former head of the department of Plastic Surgery at the Medical Centre of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. He is Founding member of the Cleft Palate team in Leeuwarden and Past President of the Dutch Cleft Palate Association.

Dr. Mulder gave a short presentation about the charitable organization we currently support, after which he was presented with a "cheque" for 7000,00 Euros by Marlene van IJsselstein, head of our Charity Committee. These proceeds were raised during our last club year though all the Charity events organized by the committee, and supported by members.

 Dr. Mulder was most appreciative, on behalf of Bridge the Gap. Kudos to our hardworking ladies of the Charity Committee, and to all the members who support their lunches and events in one way or another!


We are proud to announce that a further €8,500 raised during our club year 2015-2016

 was presented to Drs. Henk Schotte of Bridge the Gap on 6 September 2016.

This makes a total of €15,500 raised for this deserving charity

 by the IWC Amsterdam between 2014-2016!