Operation Smile reaches out to children with cleft palate
By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, March 2 (PNA) -- Operation Smile, a non-profit volunteer medical services organization, has pledged to reach out to more indigent children with cleft palate and provide them free reconstructive facial surgery.
During the celebration of its 35th year anniversary held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City on Thursday, Operation Smile enjoined its partners to take the "Until We Heal” pledge to signify their support for the organization’s effort to give every child with a cleft palate a normal life.
Until We Heal is a global campaign that unites advocates and global health and world leaders to advance access to safe surgery for all people with cleft conditions.
Among Operation Smile's partners that signed the pledge were PLDT and Smart Communications, A.S. Watson Group, the Office of the Vice President Leni Robredo, and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Through its partners, Operation Smile hopes to involve the government and the private sector in its advocacy.
"The more we raise awareness, the more children we can take care of," Dr. William Magee, Jr., co-founder and chief executive officer of Operation Smile, said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
He also said that the involvement of Vice President Robredo, through her office’s flagship "Angat Buhay" program, can be a tremendous help. The program aims to raise the quality of life of every Filipino family.
"Many people pay attention to what she says," said Magee.
He further said that it is very important that the relatives of children suffering from cleft palate know that they can approach Operation Smile for free treatment.
Operation Smile has provided some 30,690 free reconstructive surgical procedures to more than 28,800 patients and dental care to more than 9,750 patients with cleft lip, palate and other facial deformities. (PNA)