Cleft lip and palate is the number one birth defect in most developing countries. 160,000 babies are born every year in developing countries with a cleft lip and/or palate. The vast majority of these children will never receive surgery. Thus, the backlog of children with unrepaired clefts in the world increases dramatically every year.
Today, there is a backlog of millions of children with unrepaired clefts. The majority of these children in developing countries who have little to no chance of ever receiving corrective surgery.
Although it is a birth defect, cleft lip and palate is an economic problem not a medical one.
The cure for clefts, a simple, quick, inexpensive surgery (or series of surgeries) was discovered more than 50 years ago and it can completely solve the problem. This cure is readily available in all developed countries such as the U.S. and in Europe where every baby born with a cleft automatically receives cleft surgery a few months later and leads a completely normal life.
In developing countries, the vast majority of children born with clefts never receive surgery and the only reason for this is because they are poor.
Each and every child suffering in the world today with an unrepaired cleft can be helped with a simple, surgical procedure that takes as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250.
Helping these suffering children - children no one else will help - is the mission of Smile Train.