Operation Smile UK
About Operation Smile UK
Since 1982 Operation Smile has changed over 135,000 children’s lives, forever. Working in 42 countries in the developing world, Operation Smile provides free reconstructive surgery to children and young adults with facial deformities, predominantly cleft lips and cleft palates. We have over 5,000 highly skilled medical volunteers, who generously give up their time to perform life changing surgery to our patients. Further to this, Operation Smile provides all the equipment, training and surgical supplies needed to ensure every patient we treat, receives the highest standard of care and on-going aftercare that is needed when correcting facial deformities.
Why do we do it? Clefts are the 3rd most common birth defect worldwide and it is estimated that every 2½ minutes a child is born with this deformity. In the UK, a baby with a cleft will have it repaired in the first year of it’s life, however, in the developing world at least 75% of all cases will go untreated and for those who survive, many will live a lifetime of shame and isolation. Clefts hamper breathing, eating, drinking and speaking and many children do not go to school because they are ridiculed and teased, far reducing their opportunities and development for the future. However, in just 45 minutes and for as little as £150, Operation Smile can change a child's life, forever.
As a Resource Chapter, Operation Smile United Kingdom has the following three key areas of focus:
1) to raise funds and awareness for children suffering from facial deformities
2) to recruit medical volunteers to support the breadth of Operation Smile's global medical programmes
3) to provide funds, infrastructural support and medical training opportunities to its international partner foundations
Our current projects include:
1) Supporting the creation and operation of Operation Smile Cleft Lip and Palate Comprehensive Care Centres of Excellence in India
2) Supporting international and local medical projects, with a focus on the EMEIA region
3) Providing education and training opportunities to nurses and physicians in our partner countries
4) Providing U.K. medical volunteers for international projects and global education programmes
5) Growing the capacity and the sustainability of our partner foundations in developing countries to empower them to take care of more children on their own
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