SK Group hosted the “Free Surgical Treatment for Vietnamese Children with Facial Deformity” project in Hanoi 108 Military Central Hospital, cooperating with Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and Smile for Children, a Korean medical volunteer organisation, from September 19 to 23.
Marking its 25th anniversary this year, the CSR project resumed after three years of delay due to the pandemic. It was particularly meaningful since this year also marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Vietnam.
A 25th-anniversary event on September 25 was attended by Rong-min Baek, president of Smile for Children and professor at Seoul National University Hospital's Department of Plastic Surgery; Korean and Vietnamese medical personnel; SK employees; and members of SK Sunny, SK’s volunteer organisation for college students.
Operation Smile Vietnam supports children with facial deformities through surgical treatments. Over five days from September 19 to 23, surgeries were successfully performed on about 70 Vietnamese children suffering from facial deformities such as cleft lips and palates.
Since 1996, SK has supported all the expenses for free surgeries in Vietnam with Smile for Children. For the past 25 years, surgeries have been performed for 4,200 Vietnamese children with facial deformities, with SK covering the costs of KRW3.7 billion ($2.58 million) in total.
Korean medical personnel worked with the local medical professionals, teaching them surgical techniques. All the surgery equipment used by the surgeons is also donated to the local hospital, helping them perform such surgeries by themselves in the future.
|The CSR activity began in 1996 and has since provided free reconstructive facial surgery for 4,200 children. |
Recognising the contribution, the Vietnamese government awarded SK and president Rong-min Baek with the noblest order of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the highest order for foreign nationals, in 2009 and 2016, respectively.
“I am happy that SK’s CSR programme, which began in 1996, has resumed after three years after overcoming the pandemic crisis,” said Seong-nyeoh Lee, vice president at SK Ecoplant. “It’s meaningful that we have been able to give these children new lives and help them make a happy home as well as transfer advanced medical techniques over the last 25 years.”
President of Smile for Children Baek said, “We couldn’t provide the free surgeries for the past years due to the pandemic. I’m excited that we have resumed the practice and met with Vietnamese children again this year.”
“I’m so grateful for all the support and help from Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, medical personnel of 108 Military Central Hospital and SK,” he added.
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