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Crossing Miles & Mountains – Mission Smile’s First Camp in Nagaland

 “A smile is the curve that sets everything straight.”

In our mission to make India cleft free, we have now reached the mountainous state of Northeast – NAGALAND! With financial support from NEEPCO and infrastructure provided by Eden Medical Centre, the Mission Smile team was in Nagaland to conduct their first surgery at the 1st Nagaland Cleft Care Camp in Dimapur.

The camp was organized with the objective of gifting new smiles to 50 cleft-affected patients of Nagaland. To make this mission a grand success, RBSK of NHM- Nagaland provided support through patient identification and connecting the patients to Mission Smile. The camp was conducted by a team from Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre (GC4). Besides, the camp also received human resource support from Eden Medical Centre and AIIMS- Rishikesh.

According to our recent studies, out of the 2.2 million inhabitants in Nagaland almost 2500 have been found affected with cleft deformities. The statistical report showed 50% of children is affected by bilateral cleft lip which means that 50 out of 100 children needs a second surgery to correct their cleft deformities. Therefore, the demand of cleft surgery in Nagaland is more than the number of patients in terms of absolute numbers.

Our journey to Nagaland was marked by a small inaugural function at the Eden Medical Centre auditorium on April 21st. Our camp was declared open by Mr. Prasenjit Phookan, DGM- NEEPCO and in-charge of the Doyang Hydro-Electric Power Plant. In his speech, he acknowledged all the stake-holders for their whole-hearted cooperation in organizing this free camp for cleft recovery in Nagaland.

“This first Camp is being conducted in Dimapur with the objective of providing 50 surgeries. The response of the patients and guardians have convinced us that there is a great need in this state and therefore we will come back so that more such patients can benefit from our services”, said Dr Hiteswar Sarma, Field Medical Director for the Camp.

It’s a pleasure for Mission Smile to embark on the journey towards a cleft-free Nagaland with the support and cooperation of the volunteers. Smile is the best gesture of life! That’s what we ensure through frequent check-ups of our patients.