Operation Smile - Free Surgery for children having cleft palate and lip
The estimated number of clefts in Assam is a figure which varies in the range of 20,000 to 30,000 being the backlog of patients in the State and around 1000 to 1200 patients being born every year.
"Operation Smile" since January 2009 has been partnering with the Government of Assam to provide free surgeries to cleft patients of the State to fulfil the Agreement with the Government (signed in May 2009) through a Public Private Partnership model to make Assam a “cleft free” State. With this Objective in mind strategy has been put in place to address patient needs through a combination of Camps - called Missions and a permanent Centre to build capacity and provide surgery to a large number of patients every year.
A centre has been set up in Guwahati to a) Build capacity b) Develop local skills c) provide year round surgeries to cleft patients. It has a capacity to provide surgeries to nearly 4000 patients in the year at full capacity.
Operation smile is looking at bringing the cost per surgery down to Rs.17,500 form Rs 20000/- per surgery, which includes screening, travelling expense of the patient, their accommodation and fooding, camp cost, OT cost, travel expense of the Medical team of the NGO within India, their accommodation and fooding. The NGO uses its own resources for International travel, mandatory fee for MCI for foreign surgeons to work in India, Medicines, equipment transportation, maintenance, etc. Considering the magnitude of the problem and backlog of 30,000 cases, it would take 15 years to clear the entire backlog and treat new cases.
Till date more than 16500 operations done successfully under this programme on free of cost.