Mizoram children with cleft lips to get their smiles back

October 8th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Aizawl, Oct 8 (IANS) A US-based charitable medical mission called the Smile Train has taken an initiative to bring smiles to children with cleft lips and palates in Mizoram. The Smile Train would treat free of cost children with cleft lips and palates at the Greenwood Hospital here.

“About 30 children with cleft lips and palates would be treated in the three day camp,” said Lalbuatsaiha Ralte, medical director of the Hospital. Already 11 children were successfully operated last month as part of the campaign.

Headquartered in New York, the Smile Train is an international charity helping children with cleft lips. Founded in 2000 by Brian Mullaney and Charles B. Wang, it has performed more than 280,000 cleft surgeries in 75 of the world’s poorest countries.

“We want to bring back the smiles on faces of the children,” Ralte told journalists.

Renowned plastic surgeon Sashanka Chatterjee and his team are part of the Smile Train project.

The northeast has the highest number of cases of cleft lips and palates in India. According to experts, about 30,000 children in India are born with cleft lip every year and less than 50 percent of them go for treatment. After Mizoram, the Smile Train is likely to visit Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura.

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