Updated 10 September 2015

Operation Smile to heal cleft lips in Mpumalanga

Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft lip. From 26 September to 7 October Operation Smile South Africa will perform cleft lip and palate surgeries in Mpumalanga.


Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that performs safe, effective cleft lip and cleft palate surgery and delivers post-operative and ongoing medical therapies to children in low and middle income countries.

Operation Smile is a pioneer in advocating the importance of safe surgery in resource poor environments and is the largest surgical charity of its kind. Operation Smile is leading research into the causes of cleft lip and cleft palate, and its prevention, treatment and eradication.

Heading out to Mpumalanga

Their volunteer-based teams of international credential led medical professionals repair cleft deformities, but equally important, they restore hope and renew lives by improving the physical, mental and social well-being of each child.

Read: Folic acid cuts cleft lip risk

On average, every three minutes a child somewhere in the world is born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, and is often unable to eat, speak, socialise or smile. According to research, children with facial deformities who do not receive reconstructive surgery often have difficulty breathing, drinking, eating and speaking. As a result, many suffer from malnutrition, medical and psychological problems. To date OSSA have performed over 4,500 successful surgeries in South Africa.

This year, from 26 September to 7 October, Operation Smile South Africa are heading out to Mpumalanga where they will perform life-changing surgery at the Rob Ferreira hospital in Mbombela. "We anticipate providing free and safe surgical care to just under 100 patients during the South African Mission," says OSSA spokesperson Adva Brivik-Prins.

Operation Smile also focuses on education programmes and sustainability. Since inception, OSSA has provided training to more than 500 healthcare Workers (517) in South Africa. Training outcomes of this course include the ability to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), recognise life threatening emergencies, use an automatic external defibrillator (AED), and relieve choking in a timely and effective manner. 

Read more: 

Beautiful smiles in Madagascar 

EEC syndrome

Smoking may give baby a cleft lip

For more information visit the Operation Smile website


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