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|VIB staff consulting parents about the charity surgery|
Accordingly, under-privileged families that have children born with cleft lips or cleft palates are encouraged to take their children to Vietnam Cuba Friendship Hospital for screening by doctors and experts from Operation Smile and the hospital’s facial surgery division on June 18, then be operated on June 19-22.
Patients will be provided with free surgery and travel allowance, food, and medical assistance while staying at the hospital. Post-operative checking will be free of charge at specific times, including one week, six months, and one year after operation. VIB’s staff will give gifts and join in volunteer activities before and after the surgeries.
For many years, VIB has accompanied OSV on its journey to change the lives of disadvantaged children born with cleft lips or cleft palates by providing free and safe surgeries. It is one of the activities of VIB to support the community, aiming to contribute to the country’s economic and social development in general and improve the quality of life for under-privileged people in particular.
In 2017, VIB coordinated with Operation Smile to provide medical consultation and free surgeries for nearly 200 children with cleft lips or cleft palates through several medical missions conducted in different provinces in Vietnam.
|VIB volunteers at the Medical Mission to Hanoi in June 2018|
Moreover, VIB and OSV have offered speck therapy to nearly 400 families of patients across the country. Not limited to financial support, VIB employees directly or indirectly contributed their time, effort, and expertise to support Operation Smile in its missions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and encouraged as well as spiritually supported patients and their families.
29 years since Operation Smile’s first medical mission to Vietnam in 1989, the largest volunteer-based organisation has been providing medical consultation and safe surgeries for more than 40,000 and 27,000 children, respectively.
Vietnam is one of the countries with the highest proportion of children with cleft lips and cleft palates in the world. According to preliminary statistics, about 3,000 children are born with facial deformities (1/700 ratio) in Vietnam each year, along with approximately 10,000 patients who have not been operated on around the country. Meanwhile, it takes as little as 45 minutes to repair a cleft lip and/or a cleft palate, changing a child’s life forever.