Focus: Health, Children and Youth
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EVERY year, 35,000 babies are born with cleft lip or palate in India - and currently one million need surgery. Help Mission Smile give this life changing op for free to five such children of poor families.
INFANTS with clefts have difficulty breastfeeding and eating. Exacerbated by poverty, this often results in malnourishment. Due to low weight and poor immune system, these children are unable to receive surgeries and the cycle continues. To address this, Mission Smile regularly conduct programmes to identify, evaluate and monitor the severity of malnutrition in children with clefts and refer extreme cases to nutrition rehabilitation centres - and 700 have undergone surgeries till date.
MISSION Smile have tied up with 10 hospitals in India to serve the needy cleft children in their region. Accredited medical surgeons and anaesthetists have performed over 8,600 free operations on previously screened young patients at these centres. Mission Smile also run and manage a Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre in tie-up with the Assam government at Guwahati, which has now become a centre of excellence in cleft care and research in India, having provided close to 17,000 surgeries.
MISSIONS planned and set up in specific areas are the organisation’s primary mode of intervention. Though short term, they serve a large number of children born with orofacial clefts. Volunteers and experts both from India and abroad spend 10 days in carefully chosen locations to conduct medical assessments and surgeries. Post-operative check-ups to ensure proper recovery are also part of this programme. Till date 90 medical missions have been conducted, treating 5641 children.
Our association has brought a new dimension to CSR where as funders we are actively involved, engaging staff for outreach and patient connectivity. Sharing our resources for a cause is a wonderful experience, especially when the impact is perceptible.
It is difficult for us to imagine the transformation this simple surgery brings to their lives. For us it is only a visual thing but in their case it is a life changing event.
It has been a very good experience, maybe the experience of a life time. I would like to volunteer whenever and wherever I get a chance to help smoothen the process of bringing ‘smiles' to the children and adults.
The innocence of those little ones made me feel sad as to why they have to suffer so much, although their smiles were still the most beautiful. A simple surgery of 45 minutes can change a life once and for all.
I deeply appreciate the service that Mission Smile and its team of medical volunteers are able to put together and Apeejay Trust is happy to support their efforts.
- Shivaji Samaddar Chief Operating Officer
- Dalip Pande Director, Partnerships & Fundraising
- Anupam Sarkar Manager, Partnerships & Fundraising
- Rathindra Das Executive, Partnerships & Fundraising