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Operation Smile gives new life to 73 kids in Jordan

Olivia Olarte - Ulherr / 30 June 2012

The Operation Smile UAE’s (OSUAE) medical mission to Jordan this week corrected the facial deformities of 73 children who were born with cleft lips and palates.

More surgeries will be conducted in the coming weeks for the more complex cases, following further investigation and treatments.

“I can happily report that all of the procedures went well, and parents and children are joyful,” said Morag Cromey-Hawke, executive director of the OSUAE.

“We had single surgeries for children with cleft lips and cleft palates, but in some cases, more than one procedure to benefit the child had to be done,” she explained.

The OSUAE is a foundation of the international non-for-profit organisation that provides safe, effective reconstructive surgery for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

Since its establishment in 2010, the OSUAE has sent missions to the Philippines, China and Morocco where medical volunteers provided free surgeries and helped transform the lives of over 550 children. “Children who are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate are faced with challenges many of us cannot ever imagine — from simply not being able to be properly fed, which could be life-threatening for a newborn, to being laughed at and teased in school or even suffer total rejection from parents or loved ones who do struggle to understand their child’s condition.

“Children born with facial deformities can sometimes endure lifetime shame and social exclusion. This shouldn’t be the case,” Cromey-Hawke pointed out.

The OSUAE’s mission to Jordan was cosponsored by Gulf Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm, and its employees. The mission aims to offer reconstructive surgery for free for over 120 children in Jordan.

“Corrective surgeries for children born with cleft lips and cleft palates give children a new smile but, more importantly, offer them a new way of life which, for most of them, is life-changing,” said Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital.

The medical mission will also train resident surgeons, paediatricians, nurses, speech therapists and other volunteers from the medical and non-medical community in Jordan to ensure that the good work is sustained.

The OSUAE is the initiative of Shaikha Al Yazia bint Saif Al Nahyan, wife of Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan.— olivia@khaleejtimes.com


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