Smile Train partners with midwives’ group
Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft lip and palate organization, recently took part in the 43rd Annual Convention of the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City from October 19 to 21, which more than 3,000 midwives from all over the Philippines attended.
Kimmy Flaviano, Smile Train Philippines Foundation Inc. Country Director, together with Dr. Benjamin Herbosa, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and a local Smile Train medical partner, gave a brief discussion on cleft lip and palate, encouraging midwives to refer potential patients to the organization so they may receive proper treatment.
“We, at Smile Train, endeavor to give cleft children a second chance at life. A simple surgery, which we provide for free for children in need, not only creates a bright smile for the child, but can also provide the child an opportunity for a brighter future,” explained Flaviano.
“We recognize the significant role of the midwives since they are the ones in the communities. They have the ability to help us identify patients and guide mothers on how to take care of their babies with clefts and get them ready for surgery,” he said.
In the Philippines, it is estimated that one in every 500 babies born each year will have a cleft. Smile Train continues to engage with IMAP to widen its network while unceasingly helping to alleviate some of the challenges children with clefts are faced with. With this partnership, IMAP helps push Smile Train’s advocacy by informing the latter when midwives deliver a baby born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.
To date, Smile Train, through its 50 partner hospitals and organizations all over the country, has provided 50,000 cleft surgeries since 2001. Annually, Smile Train partners perform more than 6,300 surgeries in the Philippines.