A: A cleft is a gap in the mouth that didn't close during the early stages of pregnancy. As a result, children born with a cleft condition may have an opening in the lip or the roof of their mouth – or both. Children can have a unilateral cleft condition, meaning one side of their mouth is affected, or they can have a bilateral cleft condition where both sides of the mouth are affected.
Q: How does Operation Smile differ in their approach to treating children with cleft conditions around the world?
A: Not every country or community around the world is the same. That's why we work with local medical professionals, governments, hospitals and other NGOs to create various models of surgical care. Together, we determine which solutions work best in order to reach as many children as possible wherever we work. And we’re going to keep doing this and refining our approach as we move forward. All with the goal to give the most effective surgical care to patients worldwide.
Q: What does it cost to provide a surgery for a child with a cleft condition?
A: As little as HK$6800 helps provide surgery to a child with a cleft condition. This is possible thanks to the generous contributions of medical professionals who volunteer their time, as well as corporations that donate critical supplies and equipment necessary for safe surgery. This cost includes expenses incurred for essential medical team members to be at a medical mission, the expenses for additional required supplies and shipping cargo costs.
Q:How can I support Operation Smile beyond just donating money?
A: You can help change a child's life by becoming a medical or local community volunteer. You can share your time, talent and resources no matter where you live. You can help advocate for our cause and raise funds so that more children can receive safe, free surgery from our Operation Smile medical volunteers. Here are a few ways you can become involved:
Become a medical volunteer
Help assist at a local medical mission as a translator or medical record specialist
Share Operation Smile with friends, family and colleagues by hosting a fundraising and awareness event in your local community