Smile Train Provides a Record 122,506 Free Cleft Surgeries
New York, NY — after thoroughly checking the numbers, Smile Train is pleased to announce that for our Fiscal Year ending June 30th, 2012, we provided a record 122,506 free cleft lip and palate surgeries. Each one of these surgeries represents a second chance at life for a patient that would otherwise never receive desparetely needed cleft surgery.
One-year-old twins Nzuzzi and Simba Sungu from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were just two of the patients to undergo free cleft repair surgery. Thanks to our incredible supporters and the hardwork and skills of partner surgeon Dr. Onguti and his team Help A Child Face Tomorrow, these cute little babies will never know the hardships, pain and suffering that having an unrepaired cleft in a developing country leads to.
The record breaking year also saw the launch of Smile Train programs in 3 new countries: Chad, Gabon, and the Repbulic of the Congo. These new programs will not only bolster Smile Train's African programs, but ensure that children with unreparied clefts in these countries will receive the care they need and avoid lives of shame and isolation.
Another key "smilestone" is that Smile Train programs provided more free cleft surgeries than the estimated cleft births in 11 countries. This means that in Bhutan, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Mongolia, Nepal, the Palestinian Territories, Philippines, and Somalia, our partners are making significant cuts into the backlogs of unrepaired clefts. This is a key step towards sustainability and solving the problem of unrepaired clefts once and for all.
This past Fiscal Year, Smile Train continued to push more pilot programs for ancillary care, such as speech pathology, which many children who have their cleft palates repaired need in order to speak properly.
From all of us here at Smile Train and all of the children we helped this year, thank you for making this all possible.
However, while we celebrate all that we have accomplished this past year, we are all to aware that there are still millions of children who are still suffering with unreparied clefts, and it is our goal to help them all. We promise that we will not rest on laurels, and will constantly strive to grow our free cleft care programs to reach even more chidren. With your help, we can change the world, one smile at a time.