More Surgeries Helping More Patients
Your partnership with Operation Smile is so powerful! It allows us to unite families, patients, and global medical specialists for a common purpose – to deliver free, safe and timely cleft surgeries and care to those in need. It was only a year ago when our teams resumed smaller, and more local surgical programs. This year, we are pleased to report that we are very much back to pre-pandemic service levels for surgery and care.
Every country experienced different challenges. In Madagascar, two years since the pandemic hit, Operation Smile resumed its surgical programs in Tamatave. During this time of waiting, our nutrition programs became critically important. The loss of family income during the pandemic meant the inability to buy nutritious food. Malnutrition is a dire crisis in Madagascar, with more than 44% of its people being undernourished.
For malnourished babies, each gram gained is a step closer to the possibility of life-changing surgery. Our nutrition programs in Tamative helped save and change the lives of 42 malnourished cleft patients by helping them gain and successfully maintain the desired weight until surgical programs resumed. Our nutrition program also distributed cleft feeding bottles, helped mothers feed their infants with our nutrition packages and provided nutrition workshops for patients and families.
It was a long-awaited celebratory moment for our patients when they were finally scheduled to receive their surgery this past April and receive new smiles! Of the 259 patients screened, 142 patients received 223 surgical procedures at the University Hospital Center of Analakininina, our hospital partner. 31 international medical volunteers worked together with 47 local medical volunteers, 35 Smile Club Tamatave volunteers, and 161 corporate volunteers to provide exceptional cleft care to waiting children.
Through it all, our caring never stopped, and neither did your impact.
We are happy to have conducted surgical programs this year in Bolivia, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, and Paraguay.