165.000 children are born every year in develping countries with a facial abnormality called cleft palate, commonly known as “hare lip”, that defines the opening of lip and palate. The face of these children appears defaced, disfigured. Other than having to live with the existing problems in their countries, there are further problems: they cannot feed themselves properly, they are prone to contracting serious infections, often fatally, or more simply put they are unable to smile. Being excluded, emarginalised and isolated are the order of the day, up to even more serious consequences such as infanticide. In many African countries children with cleft palate are considered as cursed, in Uganda they are called “Ajok”, in other words “persecuted by God”.
Most of these children don’t have access to medical alternatives, due to a lack of income or inadequate local healthcare systems.
All that’s needed is an hour long operation to offer a solution to the pathology that they are afflicted by. The procedure is delicate, but decisive: a small “miracle” that changes lives and restores smiles.
The volunteer Doctors and Nurses of Emergenza Sorrisi carry out missions in 17 African and Middle Eastern countries guaranteeing care, surgery and healthcare assistance to thousands of children affected by facial abnormalities.
How a mission happens
Screening: medical visits, analysis and clinical evaluation of patients
Surgical procedures and training for local doctors
Post operative measures
Our missions worldwide