World’s largest cleft organization, Smile Train, has been feted at the 8th edition of the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA 2022) in the Special Award Category for Excellence in Creation of The First Cleft E-Registry in Nigeria and The Deployment of The Cleft Finder App.
Speaking while receiving the award for the second year in a row, Smile Train Vice-President and Regional Director for Africa, Nkeiruka Obi, acknowledged the long journey ahead in providing quality healthcare for all.
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“Lack of proper surgical infrastructure, high cost of treatment, and poorly trained medical professionals are some of the barriers that hinder access to safe surgery in low-to-middle income countries. Research and innovation have created entry points to advocating for access to safe surgical and anaesthesia care at local level.”
She expressed commitment from Smile Train to continuously innovate ways for decision makers to make evidence-based policies to ensure patients have access to safe, quality and comprehensive care.
“We are in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health to strengthen surgical systems which has a ripple effect in the overall improvement of local health systems. The cleft e-registry is unique way for our medical professionals to collect data and use it for policy development. The Cleft Care Companion enables anyone anywhere to identify and refer a patient with cleft to the nearest Smile Train partner hospital as well as educate the user on cleft.”
According to research by the Lancet Commission, an estimated 85 percent of children in sub-Saharan Africa will develop a surgical condition by the age of 15 years. They risk permanent disability or death without receiving early surgical intervention.
The organization has active cleft care programs in 41 countries across Africa with more than 245 partners and over 255 partner hospitals across the continent.