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Shriners’ delegation set to arrive in the territory next month

[SN file photo]

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Help is on the way for children under 19 years old with orthopedic and burn problems.

Representatives from the Shriners Hospital of Honolulu will be in the territory next month to see patients during the week of April 24-30.

Parents and guardians of children who need medical assistance in these areas are urged to take advantage of this free service by scheduling an appointment with the LBJ Medical Center's Orthopedic Clinic at 633-1222 ext. 310

Those who have been seen before, including youngsters who have been recommended by a local physician to see a Shriners representative need to confirm that they are on the list.

Shriners has been helping the children of American Samoa for nearly 30 years.

Since 1991, the group has had a hand in providing much needed off island medical assistance for over 800 local young people with orthopedic problems.

In 2016, Shriners was instrumental in sending 34 kids off island for treatment.

The trips are made possible through the Shriners Children's Travel Fund, which covers the high cost of airfare. The services, however, are free of charge.

Late last year, a Shriners delegation traveled to the territory to screen youngsters at the LBJ Hospital's surgical clinic. The visit lured in dozens of parents with kids that have ailments including spina bifida, clubfoot, and aching knees and joints.

During the Shriners' visits, the lines are out the door and the wait time is long but the service is great - and free - and can make a world of difference for kids with orthopedic problems.

Usually, a crew from Shriners makes a stop in the territory twice a year, around April and November.