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Smile Train sets out on a journey of hope from Nanyang

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2018-05-30

Smile Train sets out on a journey of hope from Nanyang

Smile Train is the world's largest charity committed to providing free corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palate. [Photo/smiletrainchina.org]

Smile Train, the world's largest charity committed to providing free corrective surgery for people with cleft lips and palate, began its China tour on May 28 with Nanyang Stomatological Hospital as its first stop.

Approximately 80 patients, ranging from three months to 60 years old, signed up for the event. They will receive free repair surgery from a team led by Shi Bing, chief expert of the Hospital of Stomatology Sichuan University, and Fu Yuchuan, chief physician of the Hospital of Stomatology Wuhan University.

In addition, more than 50 doctors from eight provinces will observe the operation and receive training from experts on the latest techniques. This is because Smile Train adheres to the philosophy that teaching one to fish is better than giving him fish. Doctors are supposed to provide year-round care rather than just limited engagements of the "mission-based" model.

Cleft lip and palate is a common congenital development malformation, which can only be cured by surgery and standard sequential therapy. Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in shame, while also having difficulty eating, breathing, and speaking.

In October 2000, the Nanyang Stomatological Hospital was designated as a hospital of the Smile Train program by the Smile Train Foundation, China Charity Federation, and Chinese Stomatological Association. So far, it has offered free surgery to more than 22,000 patients from Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Anhui, Shandong, Jilin, Guangdong, and other provinces.

Smile Train sets out on a journey of hope from Nanyang

Li Bengong (M), president of China Charity Federation, visits a girl with cleft lip and palate that signs up for the surgery. [Photo by Chen Xiaowen/Nandu Morning Post]

 

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