There are currently millions of children in the developing world living with unrepaired cleft lips and/or palates. Most cannot eat or speak properly. Aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job. Being born with a cleft in a developing country is truly a curse. Every baby born in Uganda with a cleft is given the name Ajok which means literally, “cursed by God.” Some newborns are even killed or abandoned right after birth.
A solution exists though—a relatively simple surgery lasting as little as 45 minutes. Unfortunately for families that live on less than two dollars a day, they could never dream of affording the surgery’s cost. In the developing world cleft is not a medical problem, it is an economic one.
Smiles Train provides free cleft surgery to hundreds of thousands of poor children in developing countries. We believe that every child born with a cleft—anywhere in the world—should have the opportunity to live a full and productive life.
By leveraging technology and innovation to train and utilize local partner hospitals and doctors in developing countries while providing them with the skills and resources to provide cleft care in their own communities, Smile Train is able to provide 340 free, safe, and quality surgeries each day. Not only are we able to help bring new smiles, Smile Train’s approach to cleft care creates long-term sustainability for local medical professionals to solve the problem of cleft for years to come.
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