Published: 12th April 2021
Saveetha Medical College and Hospital partners with Smile Train for awareness on cleft care
The partnership aims to create more awareness and eliminate myths surrounding clefts so that parents of children with clefts bring forward children for treatment at an early stage
Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, Chennai recently announced their collaboration with Smile Train, an organisation that empowers local medical professionals with training, funding and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. The collaboration is to drive early diagnosis and intervention for children with clefts, as early as the fetal stage by educating healthcare professionals.
The partnership aims to create more awareness and eliminate myths surrounding clefts so that parents of children with clefts are well informed and bring forward children for treatment at an early stage. This collaboration will help support free cleft surgery to many underprivileged children in South region of India and especially in Tamil Nadu.
In India, it is estimated that more than 35,000 babies are born with clefts every year. Hundreds of thousands of children with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing, hearing and speaking, as their families cannot afford the life-transforming cleft treatment. Smile Train India’s sustainable model supports funding, training and resources to empower local medical professionals to provide 100 per cent free cleft treatment in their own communities. Through this sustainable model, Smile Train India has supported more than 640,000+ free cleft surgeries through a network of 150+ partner hospitals across India, through a network of partner hospitals across the country.
Dr Saveetha Rajesh, Director Saveetha Medical College and Hospital said, “We’re proud to partner with Smile Train, a world-leading charity who empowers local medical professionals to provide free life-changing surgery to children with a cleft lip and palatein over 85 countries. Our mission is to give every child a chance to smile. Also we have established a ‘center of excellence’ a 'patient-centric unit for patients with cleft lip, palate and craniofacial deformities.”
Talking about the partnership, Mamta Carroll Smile Train’s Vice President and Regional Director for Asia said, “A cleft is one of the most common birth differences and its consequences are huge. There are millions of children born with cleft lip and palate around the world who need help but do not receive timely care due to monetary constraints and lack of awareness about the treatment. Our sustainable cleft care model empowers local medical partners to provide 100% free cleft treatment in their communities. We are very happy to partner with Saveetha Medical College and Hospitals to help children with clefts and create a long-lasting impact in cleft care.”
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive.