At Operation Smile, it starts with a child… that leads to a smile… and so much more!
Every 3 minutes, a child is born with a cleft condition — with approximately 2/3rds living in low- and middle-income countries, not having access to safe and affordable surgery and care.
This was the case with Janat — who arrived at our clinic in Morocco in critical condition. Severely malnourished due to her cleft condition, Janat needed a prosthetic mold for her cleft palate so she could feed. This is the case with many infants born with cleft lip and palate. Before they can have surgery, they must be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. So, our work begins the minute a child arrives — ensuring they have what they need before, leading up to, and after their surgery.
Thankfully, the minute our nutrition and dental volunteers assessed Janat, and fitted her with a feeding mold, she was able to take a bottle!
Like Janat, many of our patients receive more than one surgery. As they grow, we monitor their cleft condition, focus on improving their speech, ensure their oral health (dentistry, hygiene, orthodontia) is optimized, and their social interactions with family, friends and community are positive.