Operation Smile pleads for more support

Woman with cleft lip

Operation Smile has pleaded for more support to repair at least 500 people with cleft lip and cleft palettes across Malawi.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy.

Symptoms arise from the opening in the mouth. They include difficulty speaking and feeding. Surgery restores normal function with minimal scarring.

According to Operation Smile’s program manager, Ibrahim Nthalika, the organisation has so far conducted over 2000 surgeries and still has over 500 on its waiting list.

Nthalika made the remarks over the week when MyBucks Banking Corporation donated K1 million to the organization to support the cause.  

MyBucks officials presenting the donation to Operation Smile
MyBucks officials presenting the donation to Operation Smile 

“This means that we have the potential to support ourselves as Malawians to open up access to surgery for children with cleft. MyBucks has just demonstrated this.

“This will help to alleviate logistical issues among our patients regarding travel, food, and medication. The donation will help many children to receive surgery,” he said.

 “For now, about fifty children are going to be helped and these surgeries are going to run for the whole month of May at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).  

“We are submitting proposals to more donors and talking to companies and individuals to support in any way possible,” Nthalika said.

MyBucks Malawi’s marketing manager, Lindani Nkosi said they are pleased to be a part of operation smile’s life-changing initiative as they will see young children joyfully express their beautiful smiles again whenever they need to.

child with cleft lip before and after surgery
A child with cleft lip before and after surgery 

Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is an international medical charity that has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities.