Children and adults in Witbank, Mpumalanga, and the surrounding communities now have a great reason to smile.
The South African branch of Operation Smile has once again provided medical assistance to people with cleft lips and palates.
The medical mission took place in the area from March 12 to 16, and included a screening day on the Friday and surgeries on the Saturday and Sunday, with a total of 23 surgeries performed.
Operation Smile has over the past 14 years provided free reconstructive surgery to more than 6,000 patients in Africa, including those with more complicated facial conditions.
Surgeries can be as quick as 45 minutes and cost about R5,500 each.
The organisation works with local medical professionals, hospitals and other NGOs to create models of surgical care to provide effective solutions.
Also read: Life-changing surgery in search of a smile
The surgeries in March were supported by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, a community support NPO that raises and delivers funding to schools and charities to improve education and social development in South Africa.
“Giving the gift of a smile and changing a person’s life forever is no mean feat and it’s only made possible by the contributions received from organisations such as MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.”Lauren Bright, Operation Smile SA’s country manager
Operation Smile missions in South Africa have taken place in Witbank for the past two years.
Apart from its medical missions, Operation Smile also provides training to healthcare professionals in South Africa, Madagascar, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Here’s a mission update from Operation Smile SA:
The public can also do their bit towards the sustainable future development of the nation, without taking money directly from their pockets, simply by signing up for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card for free at myschool.co.za or downloading the app and selecting the organisations they want to support.
The NPO’s partners then make a donation on your behalf every time you shop.
“By swiping their MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cards, our benefactors are making a life-changing difference to thousands of children who may otherwise have been ostracised or have normal functioning such as speech impeded.”MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet GM Pieter Twine