Each year about 4,500 Brazilian babies are born with cleft lips and palates. Approximately 180,000 of these children need medical care to lead productive lives. Because of their birth defect, they are often abandoned at birth. The greatest technology is that cleft surgery is a simple procedure that takes as little as 45 minutes and can cost as little as $250. This surgery gives hope and a new beginning to children who otherwise would lead lives of isolation and shame.
Each child who undergoes cleft surgery is given a second chance at life. The surgery takes 45 minutes, but the impact lasts a lifetime. After years of living in shame and isolation, these children can finally go to school, find a job, and be happy.
Children’s lives are changed forever. Dignity is restored to the family and the medical community benefits. Newly trained Smile Train doctors share their surgical skills with new doctors ensuring that cleft care will be available for years to come.