NGO Smile Train India Strengthens Support To Cleft Lip and Palate Patients

  Kolkata : Health care systems in different stages of the Covid-19 pandemic are addressing the backlog of surgical procedures that were postponed during the initial wave of the pandemic. Suspension of time sensitive cleft lip and palate surgeries left cleft patients and their families anxious and helpless, and many children had to wait for their life transforming cleft surgery.


NGO Smile Train India’s Toll Free National Cleft Helpline - 1800 103 8301 became a support system during the pandemic to answer queries of parents ranging from how to feed a newborn with cleft lip and palate, when they would be able to seek free cleft treatment for their child etc. Smile Train partner hospitals in West Bengal have resumed providing free cleft surgeries to patients born with cleft lip and palate with enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols.


Cleft lip and palate, a facial birth anomaly, can be completely cured but it is important that children get treatment at the right age to live a healthy and productive life. This involves surgery and other related ancillary care. Delayed treatment can lead to speech and hearing problems, besides social stigma and isolation for the cleft patient. In the last 21 years, Smile Train India has supported more than 6,25,000 cleft surgeries for children across India. 


Talking about the situation, Mamta Carrol, Smile Train’s Vice President and Regional Director for Asia said, “Safety has always been the priority at Smile Train centers. With enhanced safety guidelines to protect both patients and health workers, our partner hospitals across the country have resumed cleft surgeries.Our Toll Free Cleft Helpline is a readily accessible national resource for cleft patients and it has proved to be a huge support to patients and their families during the pandemic.”


Smile Train Partner surgeonDr.Parthapratim Gupta, Smile Train Project Director at Institute of Child Health, Kolkata said, “Treatment for cleft lip and palate should not be delayed beyond a certain time as it leads to larger problems such as incorrect speech, orthodontic problems etc. With the support of Smile Train and with all safety protocols in place, we are providing safe and quality treatment to children born with cleft lip and palate to ensure they lead a healthy and productive life.



Dr Maneesh Sonthalia, Plastic Surgeon leading the Smile Train program at Repose Clinic & Research Centre, Kolkatasaid” There are many children with cleft lip & palate around the world who need help, but can’t receive timely care due to monetary constraints and lack of awareness and knowledge about this condition. Cleft is treatable and we are committed to help many more children across West Bengal.”


Smile Train has supported nearly 25,000 free cleft surgeries in the state of West Bengal through a network of 6 partner hospitals at Siliguri, Kolkata, Bardhaman, Durgapur and Murshidabad where Smile Train supports cleft treatment throughout the year. To avail free cleft treatment, please call Toll Free Cleft Helpline – 1800 103 8301.

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