Smile Train Indonesia Reaches Two Milestones
Celebrating 20 Years of Smiles and 100,000 Cleft Surgeries
Jakarta, March 11, 2022 – Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, marks 20 years of smiles and its 100,000th cleft surgery milestone in Indonesia. With the theme 100K Surgery Celebration – Creating Smiles with Smile Train Indonesia, the organization celebrates this important achievement, with 100,000 Indonesian children across the country gaining their forever smiles thanks to the support of Smile Train and their partners through free cleft surgeries and their Comprehensive Cleft Care (CCC) program.
Globally, 1 in 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate. If left untreated, such condition may cause long term psychological and physical complications including, difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training and education so that they can provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in their own communities.
“We have seen first-hand how untreated clefts have impacted children from all over Indonesia with their respective socio-economic backgrounds, and throughout our two-decade journey, we have observed that education and access to health facilities are key to ensuring children receive the right care,” said Deasy Larasati, Country Manager and Program Director, Smile Train Indonesia. “Our 100,000th cleft surgery is a true celebration of our patients and families, media friends who have helped us raise awareness, of our partner hospitals, doctors, social workers, sponsors, as well as our partnership with the Indonesian Army and Police Forces that have supported Smile Train in reaching out to more patients across Indonesia.”
Here are the key milestones of Smile Train Indonesia over the past 20 years:
Partnership with hundreds of hospitals, medical workers, and institutions from across Indonesia.
Smile Train Indonesia is supported by hundreds of hospitals, medical workers, as well as various institutions from the government, private, and social sectors from all over Indonesia. Until now, Smile Train Indonesia has worked with more than 500 hospitals, over 100 local doctors, social workers, and is also supported by the TNI and POLRI to reach more patients in Indonesia. In addition, Smile Train Indonesia is supported by many local communities, donors, and various institutions, both government and private.
Breaking the MURI record for most cleft surgery
In 2021, in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Indonesian Police Medical and Health (DOKKES POLRI), the 75th Anniversary of the POLRI DOKKES, and the 55th Anniversary of Bhayangkara Hospital Raden Said Sukanto, Smile Train Indonesia in collaboration with PUSDOKKES POLRI and the Indonesian Association of Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (PERAPI) provided free cleft surgery for more than 1,000 Indonesian children. This social service was carried out simultaneously in more than 38 Bhayangkara Hospitals in various regions in Indonesia and managed to break the record from the Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) for the Most Cleft Operation Category During a Pandemic on June 15, 2021.
“Stop Cleft Bullying” Patients mental health campaign
Smile Train Indonesia often meets patients who are bullied or ostracized in their communities. The physical differences experienced by children with a cleft make them experience rejection from the surrounding environment in the form of intimidation, ridicule, and even ostracism due to a lack of public understanding. As a result, it is not uncommon for the child to feel inferior, hopeless, and disappointed with their life. Smile Train saw the importance of real efforts to correct this mindset and launched the Stop Cleft Bullying! campaign, urging the public to work together to protect the smiles and mental health of patients for a brighter future.
Provide Comprehensive Cleft Care (CCC) services for patients
Children born with cleft lip and/or palate may experience various health complications, such as difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking and often targeting the child's psyche. Cleft treatment alleviates many of these difficulties, ultimately enabling them to thrive. However, for some children, further treatment is needed, including speech therapy, psychological counseling, orthodontic treatment, and nutritional balance.
Appreciation for partners, social workers, and donors through the celebration of 100K Cleft Lip Surgery
To celebrate the achievement of 100,000 cleft surgeries in Indonesia, Smile Train Indonesia held a webinar series on 10-11 March 2022 with their healthcare partners titled, Creating Smiles with Smile Train Indonesia. The webinar series was open to the public and was used to bring awareness around Smile Train’s comprehensive cleft treatment, starting from cleft surgery to nutritional care for children, speech therapy, as well as oral health and orthodontics. This event was also supported by Dr. Tompi and celebrity musician Kahitna, who attended the peak event on March 11.
“We congratulate Smile Train Indonesia on 20 years and for reaching their 100,000th cleft surgery milestone. This milestone is a true celebration and an example of what can be achieved when we work together. There are still countless individuals in desperate need of cleft care and with the support of our patient's families, donors, partners, and the entire Indonesian community, we can truly change the world one smile at a time,” said Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO, Smile Train.
For more information about Smile Train's global efforts and to donate, please visit smiletrain.org. To refer a patient or support cleft care in Indonesia, you may follow them on Facebook and Instagram @SmileTrainIndonesia, on Twitter @SmileTrainID.
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About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.
Program Director & Country Manager, Smile Train Indonesia
FleishmanHillard Indonesia for Smile Train Indonesia