Bhubaneswar, August 26 (LocalWire): Operation Smile Inc., an international medical charity, in collaboration with Bengaluru’s Inga Health Foundation and the SOA Deemed to be University, in a week-long mission, will surgically correct cleft lips and cleft palates in children free of cost at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here starting tomorrow.
A team of international cleft surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other medical volunteers from eleven countries including USA, UK, Sweden, Finland, Philippines and India will collaborate to correct the birth defects in children.
Cleft lip and cleft palate result when facial structures developing in the womb don’t close completely.
Professor (Dr.) Sobhan Mishra, Head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Institute of Dental Sciences (IDS), SOA’s faculty of dental sciences, will be the team leader (cleft surgery) of Operation Smile which also comprises Dr. Lora Mae De Guzman, plastic surgeon from Philippines, Dr. Jonas Awuku Afari, anesthesiologist from Ghana and Michelle Williams, in charge of cleft nursing care.
‘There has been an overwhelming response from parents of children with the deformity who want their children to undergo the correctional surgery.
The children underwent medical tests for the past two days and it has been decided that 150 children will go through the surgical correction,’ Prof. (Dr) Neeta Mohanty, Dean of IDS, told media today.
‘The surgeries will be conducted free of cost from 27 August to 1 September.
Children and their escorts will also be provided accommodation,’ she said.
Besides Prof. (Dr.) Mohanty, the Medical Superintendent of IMS and SUM Hospital, Dr Pushparaj Samantasinhar, team leader Prof. (Dr.) Mishra and executive director of Operation Smile Inc. in India, Abhishek Sengupta were present at the news conference.
The team members, numbering about 70, were felicitated at the IDS today by the SOA vice-Chancellor, Prof Amit Banerjee who praised the efforts of Operation Smile Inc. saying it had laid down global standards for the surgical correction on children.
‘We are proud that we found global standards of care and the best practices followed by Operation Smile,’ he said.
‘Operation Smile volunteers treated over 22,000 children with cleft lip and cleft palate in 24 Indian cities till now,’ Prof. Banerjee said adding the health care institutions under SOA had joined hands with Operation Smile Inc. to make the venture a success.
Prof. (Dr.) Mohanty said all arrangements had been completed for the week-long ‘Future of Smiles Mission’ programme.
‘The way Operation Smile team has converged from all parts of the globe makes it clear that the world is one big family,’ she said.
Operation Smile Inc. was established in 1982 and began working in Philippines and is now active in 45 countries catering to the needs of children with cleft lips and cleft palates but without any access to medical help, Sengupta said.
The organization collaborated with Inga Health Foundation, Bengaluru, subsequently to increase the capacity to treat the huge backlog of children in India suffering from such birth defects, he said, while thanking SOA for providing all facilities to conduct the mission.
‘We are thankful to IMS and SUM Hospital authorities for allowing us to conduct the surgeries by making available the operation theatres for six days and helping with other logistics,’ Sengupta said.