Smile Train Brazil to host global event

Achieving health equity for indigenous, rural, and refugee populations


G4 Alliance surgical, obsteric, trauma & anaesthesia care | Smile Train

The convening will bring together dozens of medical professionals and specialists, including Dr. Alfredo Borrero, former vice president of Ecuador (2021-2023)

Bauru, November 29, 2023 - From November 29 to December 1, Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, will host the 14th Meeting of the G4 Alliance Permanent Council. This is the first time such an event is being held in Latin America and will take place at the Hospital de Rehabilitation of Craniofacial Anomalies (HRAC/Centrinho - USP) in Bauru, Brazil.

“Bridging the healthcare gap for vulnerable communities has always been a priority for Smile Train because we know that access to safe, quality, and effective cleft care delivered in a timely manner can change and save lives,” explains Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO of Smile Train.

Collectively, the members of the Permanent Council of the G4 Alliance advocate at the multilateral, national, and international levels to advance a shared vision of universally available, accessible, and acceptable quality emergency care and essential surgical, obstetric, trauma, and anesthesia care. The focus of the event is to address challenges in providing these services with a commitment to quality, especially for indigenous, rural, refugee, and economically disadvantaged populations that do not have access to medical centers or specialists where they live, in Brazil and the greater Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.

Indigenous communities in Brazil, for example, face significant gaps in access to healthcare, including surgery, due to geographic and economic barriers. Neglect of surgical patients in these communities has far-reaching implications, including increased disability, poverty, and mortality, which perpetuates a vicious cycle of social and healthcare inequities. Meeting participants will discuss ambitious solutions to fill these gaps and improve health equity for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

"We hope the G4 Alliance meeting in Bauru will inform our collective advocacy strategies to accelerate progress for rural and indigenous communities in Brazil and the greater LAC region. By fostering collaboration and innovation, we are paving the way for a future where quality surgical, obstetric, trauma, and anesthesia care is not just a privilege but also a fundamental right for all. We are committed to ensuring that no one is left behind in our collective pursuit of universal healthcare,” adds Bisola Onajin-Obembe, President of the Permanent Council of the G4 Alliance.

Policy makers, renowned medical experts, social workers, hospital executives specializing in cleft lip and palate surgery, directors of global health programs, and representatives from indigenous communities will all be in attendance.

Distinguished participants include: Dr. Alfredo Borrero, former Vice President of Ecuador and President of the Latin American Health Consortium; Iris Renata Vinha, Coordenadora-Geral de Atenção Hospitalar, Brazilian Ministry of Health; Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO of Smile Train; Richard Duque, Indigenous Social Worker, Interpreter, and Translator; Rafael Custódio, director of Smile Train for Latin America; Claudio Tanca, Executive Director of the G4 Alliance; and Iris Renata Vinha, Coordenadora-Geral de Atenção Hospitalar, Brazilian Ministry of Health.


About Smile Train

Smile Train empowers local healthcare professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children around the world. The organization promotes a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for treating clefts, dramatically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak and, ultimately, thrive. To learn more about what Smile Train’s sustainable approach means and how donations make an immediate and long-term impact, visit

About the G4 Alliance

The G4 Alliance is a coalition of over 70 associations and organizations around the world that work to raise awareness, promote political will, shape policy, and mobilize resources to make access to emergency and essential surgical, obstetric, trauma, and anesthesia care quality, safe, timely and affordable, a global health priority, and a reality for all people.

Media Contact: Nicole Bell | Public Relations | (646) 829-0996