Saveetha Hospital and Smile Train to partner for cleft care

The hospital had performed 90 cleft lip and palate surgeries last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic

Smile Train, an organisation providing free treatment for those with cleft lip and palate, will be collaborating with Saveetha Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) in providing comprehensive cleft care.

Announcing the partnership through a virtual interaction with the media on Friday, Saveetha Rajesh, Director, SMCH, said that the hospital was proud to collaborate with Smile Train and expressed hope that the partnership will help in surgeries and other treatment for cleft lip and palate being available to more number of children.

She said that the hospital performed 90 cleft lip and palate surgeries last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic and it was was well-equipped with a multi-disciplinary team that included plastic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, paediatrician, audiologists, speech therapists, psychologists and others.

Mamta Carroll, Vice-president and Regional Director, Asia, Smile Train, highlighted the comprehensive and fully free care provided by the organisation through collaborations with hospitals across the globe.

Highlighting that their programme in India is the largest, she said that more than six lakh surgeries have been performed in the past two decades through collaborations with hospitals. She said that the organisation presently had around 150 partner hospitals across India, of which six are in Tamil Nadu.

Apart from comprehensive care, she said that the organisation provided training for doctors and other healthcare professionals, and organised outreach and awareness programmes. She added that the organisation leveraged technology to the maximum extent possible to develop a sustainable and scalable model.

Pointing out that roughly 35,000 children were born in India every year with cleft lip or palate, she said that there was still a huge number of those who do not get access to treatment.

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