Health

Operation Smile Ghana offers free cleft surgery to 106 children

The surgeries are part of Operation Smile's ongoing mission to bridge the gap in access to essential healthcare, particularly cleft surgery and related care, for vulnerable populations around the world

Operation Smile Ghana, a chapter of the leading global nonprofit, has from Thursday (6 June) to Friday (14 June) been providing life-changing surgery to 106 children with cleft lip and palates at the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua.

Cleft lip and palate are birth defects that occur when facial structures fail to close completely during fetal development. These openings can affect the upper lip, the roof of the mouth, or both.

The surgeries are part of Operation Smile’s ongoing mission to bridge the gap in access to essential healthcare, particularly cleft surgery and related care, for vulnerable populations around the world.

The week-long medical mission saw seven plastic surgeons from Egypt, South Africa and Ghana perform corrective surgeries on children from across the country.

In addition to the critical cleft surgeries, Operation Smile Ghana is also providing patients with essential pre and post-operative care.

This includes nutritional assessments and supplementation, speech and language therapy, dental care, and psychosocial support.

Dr Kwame Darko, head of the surgical team and a plastic surgeon at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, explained the selection process. “The patients as well as their care givers are given accommodation, food and transport fares back to their various destinations.”

Operation Smile Ghana’s programme manager, Felicia Babanawo, encouraged parents with children living with cleft conditions to seek help. “We follow up on the patients to ensure that they are totally healed,” she said.

Reporting by John Attafuah, Eastern Regional

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