Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.
Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities.
As a result of our efficiency and with the support of our donors and partners around the world, Smile Train has transformed the lives of more than one million children by giving them the power of a smile -- that's roughly 350 surgeries a day and 128,000+ every year.
Since its founding in 1999, Smile Train has provided free cleft surgery for children in 87 countries. We currently have active partners and programs in 68 countries across 5 continents.
Smile Train promotes/fosters global surgical care through various activities including:
· Support and empowerment of local surgeons, anesthesia providers and nurses in their own communities.
· Training programs in surgery, anesthesia and nursing for medical professionals across the developing world; capacity building along the continuum of care (including community health workers).
· Facilitation of surgical safety checklists, safety and quality protocols, and safe anesthesia guidelines in 1,100+ hospital partners.
· Development and dissemination of an award-winning Virtual Surgery Simulator; the first free, open-access, web-based, interactive surgical teaching tool to train surgeons in developing countries in cleft lip and palate repair.
· Donation of equipment and supplies, such as pulse oximeters and anesthesia machines, to ensure safe provision of surgical care
· Founding partner of Lifebox.
Most pressing essential or global surgical issue(s):
· Year-round access to safe, high-quality cleft lip and palate surgery and comprehensive care for the children born with cleft lip and palate facial deformities around the world.
· Training and empowerment of local medical professionals allowing them to perform safe, high-quality cleft lip and palate surgery and related comprehensive care in their own communities.
· Identifying patients in need of treatment, ensuring that they are appropriately referred to health facilities, exhibit care seeking behavior, are healthy enough to access safe surgery, and receive timely care.