Operation Smile

April 22, 2014

Be A Part Of Operation Smile

All children should get a chance to live their lives with dignity and for those born with cleft palate, cleft lip or other facial deformities, dignity stems from a smile.

Obstetrics and gynaecology doctor shadowing Hundreds of thousands of children around the world suffer from facial deformities, particularly cleft lip and cleft palate. Worse, many of these children die every single day simply because they lack the access to safe surgical care that could change their lives forever. Cultural superstitions, poverty, malnutrition, and an acute lack of specialist surgeons in many developing countries contribute to the problem.

Statistics show that a child is born with a cleft somewhere in the world every three minutes. One in about 10 of those children will not live to celebrate their first birthday. The children who survive are often unable to speak, eat, smile or socialise. In many places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents cannot afford to pay for the surgeries they need to live a normal, productive life.

Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that is dedicated to healing children’s smiles, transforming their lives forever. They ensure that every child gets what they deserve – access to safe, quality surgical care and a future filled with hope.

The organisation is made up of a team of medical professionals and volunteers who are committed to providing safe, effective reconstructive surgery and relevant medical care for children who are born with facial abnormalities such as cleft palate and cleft lip.

Operation Smile is the world’s most widespread volunteer-based charity dedicated to providing free-of-cost cleft surgeries. Since their launch in 1982, the organisation and its team of devoted medical volunteers has performed more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient assessments and over 200,000 complimentary surgeries on children and young adults born with facial deformities. The organisation also trains local doctors in developing countries and helps strengthen healthcare systems so more children in some of the poorest areas in the world can receive necessary surgery. Raising awareness of this life-threatening issue and providing lasting solutions are also key points on their agenda.

Operation Smile has operations in over 60 countries. All of these operations are dedicated to healing children’s smiles and bringing them hope for a better future. The organisation works around the world, in some of the most remote places, to ensure all children born with cleft palate or cleft lip have the opportunity to be healed. Global Standards of Care are applied to all procedures and post-operative care, to ensure that all patients and their families receive the highest level of respect, dignity and care.

Operation Smile has set up offices in over 30 different countries. These offices are staffed by volunteers who work to mobilise countries toward becoming more self-sufficient. The in-country teams help by raising local funds, recruiting local volunteers and managing their own surgical missions.

The organisation has also set up over 30 comprehensive facilities in 20 different countries worldwide. These are permanent Comprehensive Care and Training & Treatment Centres where patients are provided free surgery and the related care they need all year round.

Operation Smile is always on the lookout for volunteers in different capacities and is a worthy organisation to consider for anyone interested in this aspect of medical care.