Dec. 11: Doctors and officials associated with Operation Smile today won accolades from the governor J.B. Patnaik for successfully treating 7,500 children with facial deformities in a short span of time.
The governor along with his wife Jayanti visited the state-of-the-art training and surgery centre of Operation Smile at Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital at Panbazar, which treats cleft lip and palette deformities and spent more than an hour interacting with the children, parents and doctors.
“I am very impressed by the facilities available at the centre. The staff and doctors are highly motivated, sincere and dedicated, which has resulted in 7,500 successful cleft lip surgeries in less than two years. It gives me extreme pleasure when I see the smiles of the children who underwent the surgery and overcame their palette deformities,” Patnaik said.
He said the state government would continue to provide support to the Operation Smile centre to help them perform more surgeries in the days to come. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi had inaugurated the centre in February last year. “I appreciate the doctors from different foreign countries who have come here to serve the people of Assam. It is a world-class facility,” Patnaik said.
The facility was built at a cost of Rs 5.6 crore of which the Assam government had provided Rs 3.8 crore. Max Bupa and Tata Trust had also provided financial aid to its establishment.
The problems of cleft lip and deformed palate in children mainly arises because of nutritional deficiency in the mother.
“Last year, the comprehensive cleft care centre conducted around 3,500 surgeries with facial deformities like cleft lip and cleft palette. Till date, we have completed 7,500 surgeries,” an official of Operation Smile told The Telegraph.
The official said the governor’s visit had given a boost to the staff and doctors involved in the mission. “We told the governor about our plan to launch Operation Smile in Odisha, his home state,” the official said.