How Smile Train is Navigating the Coronavirus Pandemic
As the world continues to face the growing concerns of the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19, it is now more important than ever to support each other with compassion and kindness. Smile Train wants to assure our global community that our top priority remains the safety and well-being of our beneficiaries, medical partners, friends, family, and global supporters.
Since January, when COVID-19 was first identified, our global teams have been monitoring the outbreak and its impact on the international communities we serve and support, along with our local medical partners and Smile Train team members in the field. On 9th March, after careful consideration, Smile Train's HQ in New York and global teams began working remotely and have remained in regular communication with our staff and medical partners in more than 70 countries.
We are focused on ensuring the health and safety of our teams, medical partners, our beneficiaries, and their families. We have asked our employees and partners to follow the protective measures as recommended by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and their local government officials. We are monitoring all of our regions daily, including the areas where our programmes are currently most affected; Asia, South and Central America, and Africa. As the situation develops, we are ensuring they all have the support they need. We will routinely update our supporters as COVID-19 impacts our regional programmes.
Yet, during these uncertain times, every three minutes, another baby is born with a cleft. Smile Train's unique, sustainable model of empowering local medical professionals allows our regional partners to remain on the ground, providing needed care in their communities—including cleft care—where it is medically advisable to do so. For the safety of our partners and our patients, we have temporarily suspended surgeries in regions where it is not currently advisable to continue. The needs of every region and every medical partner are different, but they share an unwavering commitment to providing life-saving cleft surgeries. Thanks to you, our passionate and caring supporters, Smile Train will be there to provide them the support they need—as well as the partnership and solidarity that will guide us all through the days to come.