Vijayawada Government General Hospital's ‘Mission Smile’ put on hold?

Lack of funds may have led hospital authorities to stop annual cleft lip surgery initiative

Published: 12th October 2019 07:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2019 07:13 AM   |  A+A-

Patients waiting to have their blood tests done at Vijayawada Government General Hospital on Monday.

Patients waiting to have their blood tests done at Vijayawada Government General Hospital on Monday. (Photo I EPS/P Ravindra Babu)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The prestigious ‘Mission Smile’ programme, which was conducted by the Vijayawada Government General Hospital (GGH) for the past three years is unlikely to happen this time.

The hospital authorities in partnership with some NGOs and corporate institutions took up this drive from the second week of October every year, where over 100 children, aged below 14 years, underwent free cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries.

However, this year the officials haven’t made any arrangements regarding the initiative, indicating that they may not hold the programme. Launched in Vijayawada in 2016, this programme brought a smile to the faces of more than 50 children by successfully conducting cleft lip surgeries.

In 2017, the second phase of ‘Mission Smile’ was conducted in partnership with Muthoot Pappachan Foundation. With specialist doctors from across the State participating, over 70 surgeries were done. Similarly, in 2018, over 100 surgeries were performed. But there is no word regarding the programme in 2019.

When asked, even the Vijayawada GGH authorities could not shed any light over the matter.
According to the sources, however, the initiative was put on hold, due to the lack of funds. Even proposals with the NGOs were not finalised this year.

Children below the age of 14 years can undergo cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries free of cost under ‘Mission Smile’ initiative.

All expenses of the children, from the pre-surgical care, accommodation, food, medicines to the post-surgical care is borne by Vijayawada GGH and other partner organisations.

Cleft lip, cleft palate surgeries for children below 14
Under ‘Mission Smile’, children below 14 years of age can avail cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries at free of cost, with all expenses, from pre-surgical care, accommodation, food, medicines to post surgical care, to be taken up by the GGH and other partner organisations

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