BEIJING, January 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The world's largest foundation for cleft repair, operating in 84 countries around the globe
On the morning of January 6, 2012, sponsored by the U.S. based Smile Train's cleft repair project, the 250,000th free cleft repair surgery was performed successfully in China Meitan General Hospital in Beijing. At the same time, China Charity Federation and Smile Train jointly held in Radisson Blu Hotel Beijing a news conference about the development of the project. Special support for the surgery was given by Chinese Stomatological Association and Smile Train's Medical Advisory Board for cleft repair projects. A number of celebrities, leading businessmen and professionals including the renowned crosstalk comedian Mr. Jiang Kun paid a special visit to the patient in the hospital and attended the news conference.
Headquartered in New York, Smile Train is a not-for-profit organization focused on providing free cleft repair surgeries for poor cleft patients in developing countries. Charles B. Wang, one of the major co-founders, is a successful American Chinese businessman with a vision that "a surgery will correct a birth defect of cleft and bring back a smile and happiness for the child." Upholding the idea of "teaching a man to fish", Smile Train has established a global cleft relief system and a whole set of implementation standards. They don't send medical teams from other countries to operate in the developing world; instead, they provide the local doctors in these countries with free training to enable them to perform free, high-quality surgeries.
Statistics show that in China there are 20,000 to 30,000 newborn babies with cleft lip and/or palate every year. Children with this birth defect cannot eat or speak properly, and cannot attend school or hold a job like others. Their lives are filled with shame, pain and hardships. Smile Train brings the desperate cleft patients not only a brand new smile, but a totally different life.
Currently, Smile Train is doing relief projects in 84 countries around the globe and has reached a milestone of 700,000 free cleft repair surgeries. Over the past 12 years, Smile Train's charitable cash donation in China has amounted to over 1.2 billion Renminbi. It has sponsored 250,000 free cleft repair surgeries with the assistance of Chinese national and regional charity and healthcare organizations as well as other related parties. Meanwhile, it has provided free training for over 12,000 medical professionals. Up to now, Smile Train's China project has included 397 partner hospitals all over 31 provincial areas other than Taiwan and Hong Kong, with 150 free surgeries being performed on a daily basis.
Mr. Fan Baojun, Chairman of China Charity Federation spoke highly of the outcome of their cooperation with Smile Train over the past 12 years, commenting that "the Smile Train project is one of the most influential charity projects in China."
Looking ahead, Smile Train will provide more support for secondary cleft repair surgeries and offer post-surgery speech training, so as to provide a safe and effective series of care services for cleft patients from poor families in China.
Dr. Shell Xue
SOURCE U.S. Smile Train Foundation