Saveetha Medical College inks pact with Smile Train to support free cleft surgery for underprivileged children

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Chennai, Apr 10 (PTI) Private health care provider Saveetha Medical College and Hospital has inked a pact with a leading cleft organisation 'Smile Train' to drive early diagnosis and intervention for children born with clefts.

The partnership aims at creating awareness on clefts so that parents would be well informed and bring forward children for treatment at an early stage. The collaboration would help support free cleft surgery for many underprivileged children in the Southern region, particularly in Tamil Nadu, a press release said.

Citing a study, the release said it was estimated that more than 35,000 babies were born with clefts every year.

Several children with untreated clefts live in isolation and undergo difficulty in eating, breathing, hearing and speaking.

Smile Train India's model supports funding, training and resources to empower local medical professionals to provide 100 per cent free cleft treatment.

Through the model, Smile Train India has supported over 6.40 lakh free cleft surgeries through a network of 150 plus partner hospitals across the country.

'Our mission is to give every child a chance to smile.

Also we have established a 'Centre of Excellence', a patient centric unit for patients with cleft lip, palate and craniofacial deformities,' Saveetha Medical College and Hospital director Dr Saveetha Rajesh said.

Smile Train vice president and regional director, Asia, Mamta Carrol said, 'a cleft is one of the most common birth differences and its consequences are huge.There are millions of children born with cleft lip and palate around the world who need help but do not receive timely care.PTI VIJ BN BN