Mission Smile has conducted its first ever ‘overseas pilot project’ in Colombia from 13th to 15th April 2018 in partnership with Latin Smile – an international charity offering cleft surgeries & cleft awareness across Latin American nations. The mission site was ISABU Institute de Salud de Bucaramanga in Bucaramanga (known as “the pretty city of Colombia”).
The mission was inaugurated on 13th April in presence of Col. Shivaji Samaddar- COO Mission Smile, Dr Ramkumar Venkateswaran- CMO Mission Smile, Dr Javier Soto- Chief of Latin Smile and the Directors of the Partner hospital.
The team from Mission Smile and Latin Smile met H.E. Shri Ravi Bangar, the Ambassador of India to Columbia and Ecuador to brief him about Mission Smile, our activities in India and our plans in Latin America in partnership with Latin Smile. He gave valuable advice and extended his support by way of providing wide coverage about the Mission in Colombia in all national dailies.
The combined team of volunteers from both Mission Smile & Latin Smile worked hand-in-hand for screening 39 patients and performed 20 cleft corrective surgeries on 14th & 15th April. All the surgeries were successful and all the patients, mainly children are looking forward to a life free from cleft.
We also extend our heartfelt thanks to the Governor of Santander, the Mayor of Bucaramanga, the mission hospital team and volunteers from Latin Smile for their unflinching support in making the pilot project successful.
We hope that our Colombia Mission will pave the way for similar international partnerships in Latin America and beyond.