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Operation Smile provides free surgery to 154 cleft patients

Some 154 patients with various forms cleft conditions have had their deformities corrected through a free medical operation undertaken by the world acclaimed medical charity, ‘Operation Smile’ at the Volta regional hospital in Ho.

The five-day medical operation which had a $36,000 support from uniBank involved a team of 86 medical and non-medical volunteers who worked to put smiles on the faces of the patients who were mostly children.

Speaking to Starr News, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, leader of the surgical team said a total of seven surgeons operated on the patients drawn from various parts of the country within the five days.

He said despite the stress involved the Operation Smile team which comprises volunteers from 13 different countries across the globe was excited about the success of the operations and the joy it brings to the patients, their families and community.

The patients with their guardians were also offered free transportation, accommodation and feeding throughout the period as a result of uniBank’s support.

Dr Ampomah, who is also the director of the National Burns and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Centre, at the Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital, noted that in Ghana about one in every thousand (1:1000) child births, suffers Cleft lip and Cleft palate, which is one of the common birth defects across the world.

He, however, said lack of awareness about the condition has resulted in the stigmatization of cleft patients, most of who live in pain and isolation, despite the availability of medical procedures to correct such deformities.

Mr. Clifford Mettle, Director of E-banking, Products and Marketing at uniBank said the bank supported the Operation Smile mission to restore hope to the underprivileged in society.

He noted that, as an indigenous financial institution, uniBank ‘cares’ about the health and safety of Ghanaians, hence making it a key tenet of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.

Almost 800 cleft patients have so far benefitted from the free medical services of Operation Smile, since it started operations in Ghana in 2011 and the NGO is hopeful of transforming more lives in the country, according to Mrs Sabrina Ghiddi, the Regional Manager for West and Southern Africa, of Operation Smile International.

Source: Ghana/ Atsivor

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