Operation Smile is celebrating its 10th anniversary of working in Madagascar with a multi-site mission taking place from the 12-22 of April.
South African volunteers have once again returned to the island bringing their host of skills to sites in Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Majunga and Tamatave.
The 19 volunteers include both medical and non-medical role players with plastic surgeons, anaesthetists, dentists, nurses and many others offering up their time and expertise.
This is a really momentous occasion for us as South Africans to return to celebrate this 10-year anniversary as many of our volunteers and staff members at Op Smile SA were on that very first mission to Madagascar and have continued to return over the years. Madagascar is now an established foundation in its own right but we will always be proud of the role we played in bringing surgical care to the people of Madagascar affected by cleft lip and cleft palate
Tamlin Abrahams, Operation Smile Regional Director for Central, Western and Southern Africa.
The mission aims to perform 325 surgeries over the course of the week.
The Operation Smile mega mission to Madagascar continues to move forward with patients across the island receiving the opportunity to access life-changing care. The mission site at Majunga is one of the newest ones but has fast found its feet, and on Tuesday completed 16 surgeries. These comprised 11 cleft lip repairs and 5 cleft palate repairs.
The second day of surgeries went on without a hitch and with little to no turnover time thanks to a top-class medical team including clinical coordinator Connie Chiles (USA), and a fantastic anaesthesia team including Vincent Chau (USA), Christian Kampik (South Africa), Clover Ann Lee (South Africa), and Neville Botha (South Africa).
Incredible stories and inspiring moments took place across all four sites of this 10-year anniversary mission. With a total of 55 surgeries done at the three other sites, a massive 66 lives were changed and countless families and communities affected.
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : SA volunteers inspired by life-changing surgeries in Madagascar #OperationSmile