Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft care NGO, has amplified its partnership with Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital by investing in a state-of-the-art operation theatre (OT) and 3D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) equipment with an aim to support safe and best in class cleft treatment for underprivileged patients. The purpose for this initiative is to build equity in cleft care and strengthen surgical systems.
LIVA Ms Diva Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu inaugurates the Surgical and Diagnostic Facilities at Bhagwaan Mahaveer Jain Hospital in Bengaluru
The inauguration was held at India’s first Cleft Leadership Centre and was graced by Harnaaz Sandhu, LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021. Sandhu will represent India at the upcoming Miss Universe pageant in Israel on December 12, 2021. At the hospital, Sandhu was joined by Mamta Carroll, Smile Train’s Senior Vice President and Regional Director for Asia.
At the event, LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu said, “Over 35,000 babies in India are born with clefts every year. There is a need to create higher awareness that this birth difference is completely treatable, and children born with clefts can lead full and healthy lives. Smile Train supports 100%-free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children, and I am proud of my association with this cause.”
Talking about the newly inaugurated facilities, Mamta Carroll Smile Train’s Senior Vice President and Regional Director for Asia, said, “As part of our commitment to ensuring a full and healthy life for the cleft- affected, Smile Train firmly supports cleft patients’ rights to safe, affordable and timely surgical care within their own community. We are confident that the new OT and diagnostic facility will enhance the safety and quality of cleft care being provided by our able team at Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Hospital.”
Inauguration of the Smile Train supported OT and CBCT machine followed the launch of India’s first Cleft Leadership Centre (CLC) at the Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Vasanthnagar, Bangalore in July 2021. The CLC supports cleft treatment for underprivileged patients from birth to adulthood. The CLC provides a full suite of cleft related services – surgery, nutrition, speech, dental, orthodontic, audiometry and counselling. It is a hub for training and research for medical experts.
Dr. M.D. Marker, Medical Director, Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Bangalore and Dr. Krishnamurthy Bonanthaya, Maxillofacial Surgeon and Project Director of the Smile Train Cleft Leadership Centre, at the inauguration said, “Use of cutting-edge technology tools will prove a game changer in the field of cleft care and help the cleft team at the Cleft Leadership Centre optimize treatment and outcomes for cleft patients. We are proud of our partnership with Smile Train and their firm commitment towards safe and quality cleft treatment.” Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital is a charitable trust hospital of the Jain community at Bangalore and functions under the aegis of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Memorial Jain Trust, Bangalore.
Dr. Krishnamurthy Bonanthaya, Maxillofacial Surgeon and Project Director of the CLC demonstrated the new 3D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The machine uses imaging technology that allows maxillofacial and plastic surgeons to evaluate the underlying bone structure, the nerve pathways and surrounding soft tissues to plan better surgical outcomes.
Using CBCT technology to plan surgical outcomes is the first of its kind cutting edge technology which can completely change the cleft care scenario in India. The tools will make it possible for surgeons to receive an individualized record sheet for each patient, detailing the outcome of surgery including post-surgical shape and symmetry.
Since the year 2000, Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors and hospitals across India to provide 100%-free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. This ‘teach a man to fish’ strategy has enabled Smile Train India to provide more than 6,50,000+ free surgeries through a network of over 150 partner hospitals.
About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrainindia.org.