Finally, children born with clefts in Himachal Pradesh have a fair reason to smile!
Smile Train India, a non-government organisation, the National Health Mission and the state Directorate of Health and Family Welfare have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable free surgeries for children with congenital cleft lip and palate.
Through this three-year partnership, the patients for the surgeries will be identified through a programme named the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram.
Smile Train will support free surgeries and post-operative care for the children, a government spokesperson told IANS.
Since 2000, Smile Train has supported more than 1,700 cleft repair surgeries, free of cost, in Himachal Pradesh.
This new partnership looks at intensifying outreach so that more children born with clefts can benefit from the free surgeries and get a chance to lead a normal life.
While signing the memorandum of understanding, Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Mission Director Manmohan Sharma said this partnership will help children with untreated cleft access free treatment in a timely manner through Smile Train India’s partner hospitals.
Renu Mehta, Area Director with Strategic Projects in South Asia in Smile Train said: “We are thankful to the state government for their support in spreading awareness about clefts and the treatment available.”
“With the support of the state, we are sure that we will be able to reach out to children born with clefts from remote areas, who do not have access to quality cleft treatment or surgery,” she added.