Children with untreated clefts face physical difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Cleft treatment alleviates many of these difficulties, ultimately enabling them to thrive.
SMILE TRAIN - GIVE EVERY CHILD THE CHANCE TO SMILE
The AGAT Foundation continues to support the Smile train by having donated $25,000 which was matched for a total of $50,000 to help fund cleft lip surgeries in developing countries.
Every Three Minutes… a child is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Annually, that is an estimated 175,200 children world-wide. For those fortunate to access timely, effective and safe medical care, they will begin to receive treatment for their condition within their first few months to a year.
However, 5 billion people or 65% of world’s population, lack access to adequate surgery and anesthesia. While waiting for surgery is difficult, the graver concern is that infants born with cleft conditions have nine times the risk of dying within the first year of life.
When left untreated, having a cleft lip and/or cleft palate becomes life-threatening and a lifelong hardship. Child abandonment and even infanticide can occur and in many cultures, these children are often socially isolated. Cleft conditions can cause serious health issues if not corrected such as difficulty speaking, language delays, dental problems, ear infections and hearing loss, and difficulty eating and swallowing can lead to malnutrition and even starvation.
With surgery, a child can have a brand-new, beautiful smile in as little as 45 minutes for as little as $240. Operation Smile is a global medical organization that provides FREE corrective surgery to children wherever they live in the world. It is surgery that changes a child’s life forever… and it changes families, communities, countries, regions and yes, the world.