Imphal, April 17: A kick –off ceremony of Cleft Week scheduled from 17th to 23rd April 2017 was held today at Shija Hospitals with an aim to create awareness about cleft and also rendering new smiles, new hopes, new lives through free corrective surgery for cleft lip and cleft palate under Smile Train Shija Cleft Project. Professor G.N. Sharma, Consultant Plastic Surgeon – Shija Hospitals cum Smile Train Partner Surgeon, Dr. Kh. Palin, CMD – Shija Hospitals cum Consultant Plastic Surgeon cum Smile Train Partner Surgeon and Dr. Kh. Bonney, Project Director – Smile Train Shija Cleft Project were the special guests of the function.
The idea of cleft week has been initiated by Smile Train India to mark the completion of 16 years of the path altering, transformational work that has been accomplished in the field of cleft by performing nearly 5 lakh free cleft surgeries till date.
Shija Hospitals is a partner hospital of The Smile Train Inc., an NGO based in New York, USA which was launched in 1998 with the goal to eradicate the global problem of cleft lips and palates. Nearly 5000 free corrective cleft surgeries have been performed so far in Manipur under Smile Train Shija Cleft Project which was launched on 10th June 206. Smile Train Shija Cleft Project also ensures that its benefit reaches to the masses of North Eastern part fo India and even the neighboring country of Myanmar. Mission Barak, Mission Nagaland and Mission Myanmar are some of the initiatives that have been undertaken till date. Apart from free corrective surgeries, other additional services include free diagnostic facilities, hospital accommodation, speech therapy and travelling allowance up to a permissible limit. Cleft lip and palate surgeries can be performed from the age of 6 months and 14 months respectively.
The ‘Cleft Week’ aims to include all partner hospitals in a state and gives them a chance to create renewed awareness and interest in cleft anomalies in their region. The week-long event will aim at creating increased awareness about clefts and gives a platform to partners to leverage their relationships with government bodies and other NGOs and work together to eradicate cleft lip and palate in their locality.