Operation Smile And Smile Train Launch Rwanda Smiles™, An Unprecedented Collaboration To Create A Cleft-Free Rwanda
NEW YORK and NORFOLK, Va., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Smile Train and Operation Smile, the two leading cleft care charities in the world, are launching Rwanda Smiles a groundbreaking initiative to create a cleft-free Rwanda.
WHAT: This joint effort is in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Rwanda to create the first-ever cleft-free country in Africa.
WHEN: On April 12, Smile Train and Operation Smile will host a joint press conference in Kigali, Rwanda to announce the details of Rwanda Smiles.WHO: Representatives from Operation Smile, Smile Train and the Rwandan Ministry of Health will be available to discuss this unprecedented collaboration. President H.E. General Paul Kagame of Rwanda has expressed his support of Rwanda Smiles, to ensure every Rwandan born with a cleft lip or cleft palate receives life-changing surgery and lives a healthy life. Each year, an estimated 250-300 babies are born with clefts in Rwanda. Approximately 4,000 children and adults in Rwanda today are suffering from a cleft. Rwandans affected with these birth defects often can't eat or speak properly. Many times, they are shunned and ostracized from their communities. Rwanda Smiles is designed to treat all Rwandans who are living with unrepaired clefts and ensure they have the opportunity to live full, productive lives. Operation Smile and Smile Train are working closely with the Rwandan Ministry of Health to scale up their efforts and focus on the following needs:
- Identifying those in need of cleft treatment
- Providing free treatment and care to all Rwandans currently living in the country with unrepaired clefts
- Training local medical professionals so they can provide ongoing care for children with clefts in their communities.
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