Ansell gives back at Operation Smile global mission
Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. They have improved the health and lives of children born with cleft through the highest standards of safe, surgical care. These standards align with Ansell’s mission of providing innovative solutions for safety, well-being, and peace of mind, no matter who or where you are.
Our partnership with Operation Smile and our generous donations of MICROTOUCH®, GAMMEX®, and MEDI-GRIP® medical gloves as well asSANDEL® sterile marking pens, allow them to continue their global mission. But donations are not where the journey ends for Ansell. The medical GBU team has often gone beyond the donation to the heart of the cause – bringing smiles to the faces of underprivileged children. In January 2017, we did just that. Operation Smile needed assistance getting product into India so we gladly secured their needs for medical gloves. Moreover, two of our very own medical colleagues had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at Operation Smile’s global mission in West Bengal, India.
Anna Lobanova, Director – EMEA/APAC Emerging Markets, and Rajat Khosla, Marketing Manager – Indian Sub-Continent, recall their experience for us:
Adults may still express their pain but imagine a child with cleft palate who can’t speak, rather doesn’t know how to speak. Try feeling the pain of a child who watches normal children enjoy delicious delicacies but he can’t even gulp properly. This is the reality of a child born with a cleft palate.
To prepare for this mission, it took Team Operation Smile India over six months to pre-screen a pool of nearly 400 people living with cleft through multiple camps in the region. They personally visited every one of these potential candidates for surgery to perform an evaluation. You can only imagine the phenomenal network they have built in order to reach every last patient/parent in the mission area. It seems like you can name any big or a small institution and Operation Smile has them in their network. Let it be a police station or an Asha worker, they’re all supportive of this noble cause.
After screening all candidates, almost one third of these patients were approved and then brought to West Bengal for the week-long mission where their cleft palate & lip surgeries were performed at absolutely no cost to the family. Operation Smile’s humanitarian model also scopes in logistics, food and shelter for the parents and their families who accompany the patient. The medical and non-medical volunteers rope in from across the globe to contribute towards every single smile.
During the mission, Operation Smile ensures to keep everyone smiling with little touches such as fun Operating Room theatre names. But this gentle, caring approach is also supported strongly with the best standards of care. This includes the safest O.R. infection control practices, and best-in-class supplies. Their missions are so well-organized and respected that Operation Smile attracts some of the world’s best surgeons and nurses in the field to voluntarily operate on these young angels. We had the chance to witness one of these trained professionals, Dr. Gaurav Deshpande from a Centre of Excellence based at MGM Hospital, Navi Mumbai, who could correct a complex cleft palate in as few as 45 minutes.
While the mission may be over in West Bengal, the work and the impact is just beginning. All the patients are continuously supported with post-operative counseling and check-ups scheduled regularly. 179 children’s’ lives were changed, 179 families have a fresh start, and more than 50 volunteers from India and abroad have the absolute pleasure to have participated. One smile at a time, our products are helping to change lives