Knowledge Exchange Cleft-focused education benefits patients & families
Education and training programs for medical volunteers and staff are an integral part of Operation Smile’s work. These programs provided local medical volunteers with opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills to provide safe surgical and comprehensive cleft care to the children we serve. The programs help fill gaps in the accessibility and availability of safe cleft surgery and comprehensive care in the low- and middle-income countries where we work.
In six countries supported by Operation Smile Canada, 63 medical volunteers and instructors lead training in 12 medical specialties (e.g. surgery, nursing, nutrition, anesthesia, speech pathology, etc.) which provided 292 medical residents, observers, and other medical professionals the opportunity to learn more about cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care.
Comprehensive care centres provided a variety of patient and family-oriented workshops on a variety of topics related to cleft care like proper nutrition, dental hygiene, and parenting skills.
Operation Smile Canada also funded a training course for medical volunteers from 13 Latin American countries which focused on Psychosocial Care and Interventions with Pediatric Patients and Families. Fifty-seven medical volunteers participated in the four-month online course which provided 41.5 hours of professional development. Throughout the course, participants conducted 4,794 psychosocial consultations with patients and their families.