Residents of the Northern Cape community can look forward to having their very own Smile Week sometime in May this year. This is according to the Smile Foundation’s Operations Executive Director, Moira Gerszt.
Gerszt says for the first time this year, the non-profit organisation will be moving to have a Smile Week at the Kimberley Hospital as most people from the province have previously had to travel to Bloemfontein to have their children operated on. She says that having the event held in the Northern Cape capital will help the sponsors as well as the parents of the affected children to spend less on travelling costs such as transport and accommodation. It will also broaden the foundation’s reach in the province.
While she was unable to state how many children with facial anomalies will receive surgical treatment, she did say 29 children from the province are currently on the waiting list. She adds that the challenge with Kimberley is that there is only one plastic surgeon in the entire region who will be able to perform the operation and thus the support of other plastic surgeons will be needed to ensure that the event is a roaring success, as it has been in Bloemfontein for the past few years.
This initiative will be an extension of the ongoing one with Universitas Academic Hospital (UAH) and will also work closely with the Department of Health and UAH.
Parents of children with cleft lips and palates should refer to their nearest public hospitals or clinics for more information on how to get their children on the lists of those who will receive operations. Alternatively, they can call the foundation at 011-325-6480. Please note that preference will be given to children with a medical urgency.