Strengthening Cleft Care in Africa Through Hospital Partnerships & Training
Investing in local programs and operations is the best way to support local health care systems in need of resources to provide safe and timely cleft care to those in need.
Local volunteers and staff are closest to our patients, know their needs, establish bonds and relationships with patients and their families. They also understand how to work best with local hospitals to arrange cleft surgeries.
This year, Operation Smile Canada made new investments in Africa to help recruit and train patient advocates, who empower cleft patients in communities to attend surgical programs held with local hospital partners. Further investments were made in training and education programs for healthcare workers and medical volunteers.
In South Africa
Our patient advocates enlisted 48 patients with cleft conditions for cleft surgery and comprehensive care. Of these, 29 patients received cleft surgery and will receive follow-up cleft care with the support of patient advocates in their region. Close to 80 Community Health Care Workers attended cleft care workshops and were trained in CPR & BLS (Basic Life Support) skills. Operation Smile has partnered with Inkosi Albert Luthuli Academic Hospital in KwaZulu Natal and Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Gauteng to provide year-round cleft surgical programs to children waiting for their new smile.
- enlisted 48 patients for cleft surgery
- 29 patients received cleft surgery
- 80 Community Health Care Workers attended cleft care workshops
At the Thika Level Five Hospital in Kiambu County, our team of 40 local volunteers successfully provided free and safe cleft surgery to 44 patients. Operation Smile in Kenya has also partnered with the Nakuru County Government and the Kenya Association of Anesthesiologists to further strengthen its healthcare systems and expand access to cleft surgeries and care.
- 40 local volunteers successfully provided free and safe cleft surgery to 44 patients
Operation Smile’s patient advocates in partnership with the Ministry of Health, enlisted 162 patients with cleft conditions for cleft surgery and care. Over 50 Community Health Workers attended cleft care workshops, and 48 health workers from Nampula Central Hospital and Marrere General Hospital in Nampula were trained in BLS (Basic Life Support) skills. Additionally, 1 health worker from the Ministry of Health received training to become a BLS instructor.
- enlisted 162 patients for cleft surgery
- 48 health workers were trained in BLS
- 80 Community Health Workers attended cleft care workshops