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Entering Their Eighth year of Partnership, Government Of West Bengal And NGO Smile Train India, Renew Collaboration To Support Free Surgeries To Children Born With Cleft Lip And Palate

The three-year MOU under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram (RBSK)’s ‘Sishu Saathi’ scheme focuses on intensifying and scaling programs to reach out to more children

Kolkata: Smile Train India, India’s largest cleft care NGO, and the Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of West Bengal, signed an MoU to renew their successful  partnership which has helped to provide free surgical care to and benefitted more than 3000 children born with clefts in West Bengal since 2013. The partnership has been renewed till 31st March 2023.

Through the three year public - private partner -ship, children with untreated clefts will be identified by RBSK Mobile Health Teams in communities, Government or Govt. aided Schools and Anganwadi Centers and referred to the district nodal officer (Dy CMOH III). The District Nodal Officer will then refer the case to the nearest Smile Train India partner hospital - for free cleft lip and/or palate surgeries and post- operative care.

Following is the regional coverage of Smile Train Partner Hospitals, providing free cleft lip and/palate surgeries in West Bengal:

Dr. Ajay Chakraborty, Director of Health Services, Health and Family Welfare Depart- ment, Government of West Bengal elaborated on the partnership, “Our partnership with NGO Smile Train India has been a very successful one. Since 2013, more than 3000 children born with cleft across West Bengal have been provided free and safe cleft treatment. We are sure that in the next three years, we will together scale up the partnership and benefit thousands more cleft children.”

Dr. Asim Das Malakar, State Family Welfare Officer & Joint Director of Health Services (FW), 
Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of West Bengal, will be working closely with Smile Train India team members and partner doctors to ensure that maximum number of children with cleft condition benefit from free cleft treatment.

Talking about the partnership, Ms Ishani Biswas, Program Manager, Smile Train India said, “Children born with clefts can live healthy and full lives but due to lack of awareness and access to quality cleft treatment, large number of children especially in remote areas still live with untreated clefts. They live a life of isolation and face problems in eating, breathing, and speaking. We thank Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, Government of West Bengal for partnering with us to help us reach out to more children with clefts across West Bengal. We have helped enable 24,500 free surgeries in West Bengal over the past 20 years and this partnership is sure to help us expand our reach and transform lives of many more children.” To avail free cleft treatment, please call Toll Free Cleft Helpline – 1800 103 8301.

About Smile Train India
Smile Train India is a cleft organization with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. In India, over 35,000 children are born with clefts every year and hundreds of thousands of children with untreated clefts live in isolation, facing difficulties in eating, breathing, and speaking. A cleft reconstructive surgery leads to immediate transformation.

We advance a sustainable and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. Since the year 2000, Smile Train’s sustainable model has provided training, funding and resources to empower local medical prof -essionals and hospitals across India to provide 100%-free cleft surgery and compre- hensive cleft care in their own communities. This ‘teach a man to fish’ strategy has enabled Smile Train India support 625,000+ cleft surgeries through a network of more than 150 partner hospitals. To learn more about how Smile Train India’s sustainable approach has both an imme- diate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrainindia.org.
Toll Free Cleft Helpline – 1800 103 8301.

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