Smile Train brings smile to Mizo cleft-lips children

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Aizawl, Oct 7 (UNI) The Smile Train, a US-based charity, has taken an initiative to bring beautiful smiles to children with cleft lips and palates in Mizoram.

The Smile Train has selected the well-equipped Greenwood Hospital in Aizawl as its Mizoram centre for the children's operation which is free of cost.

As many as 30 children with cleft lips and palates have been enrolled in the second operation, starting from today.

''We will operate on four patients today, and we are not sure whether or not we could operate on all the enrolled children as the operation will last only till the next three days,'' a Greenwood Hospital official told UNI here.

He said 11 children had successfully been operated upon during the first operation on September 8-11.

Dr Lalbuatsaiha Ralte, medical director of the Hospital, said, ''We organise this programme to bring beautiful smile to children with cleft lips and palates, to rescue them from shyness, inferiority complex and mockery they have due to their physical abnormality.'' He said his hospital had been selected by The Smile Train after thorough inspection for three times.

This time, renowned plastic surgeon Prof Sashanka Chatterjee and his team, are operating on the patients.

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

The Charity has also raised some 84 million dollars last year while employing a worldwide staff of just 30 people.

Northeast region is found to have the highest number of cases of cleft-lips and palates in India. Mizoram is the fifth The Smile Train centre in the NE, after Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura.

UNI ZS PC SW ND0946

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