Earlier today, I was invited to an exclusive virtual meeting with Smile Train‘s South East Asia Director, Ms. Kimmy Flaviano, Dr. Nikki Salvano-Valencia, a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dela Salle University Medical Center and Ms. Veronica Yu, Speech Language Pathologist, Faculty, University of Santo Tomas, College of Rehabilitation Science. They talked about what Smile Train has been up to in the last few months, how to care for cleft patients and how early surgery and intervention can help a cleft patient live an easier and a normal life the fastest way possible.Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, aims to further its mission in providing free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in need throughout the Philippines and the world. Every day, 540 babies around the world are born with a cleft which is a serious health condition with potentially life-threatening complications such as difficulty eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Along with its medical partners, Smile Train Philippines would like to raise awareness and share ways in which communities can help these children smile and live a normal life.
As they say, every 3 minutes a baby with a cleft is born, even during a pandemic. There is no stopping Smile Train, even if there is a pandemic. They still provided necessary help and care to cleft patients all over the country. It may be harder to reach patients in need, since we are confined in the corners of our homes, and the community quarantine restrictions have made it difficult for patients to receive surgery and care but Smile Train found ways to make things happen.
They conducted a couple of Facebook live discussions to inform and help the majority on how we can support Smile Train. They provided telemedicine consultations and tele health speech therapy sessions through their partners. As well as some Smile Train partners has resumed surgeries.
Smile Train continues to provide comprehensive health care to cleft patients during this time. They can be reached online via their social media accounts, so if there is a need of their help, they can be easily contacted. There are more and more partners helping Smile Train all around the country, and because of that, it is easier for them to continue to provide surgery and care where regulations allow it. This is an assurance that Smile Train will be here for all of their patients, pandemic or not.
If you wish to donate to this cause, you may do so by using this link.