Working Towards a Better Future

Did you know that only 4% of the estimated 234 million surgical procedures performed each year go to the poorest third of the global population. This means that every year countless individuals living in developing countries don’t receive the medical care they need. This can be particular debilitating for children born with a cleft condition. Operation Smile understands the consequences of living life with this birth defect and the dramatic difference it can make to receive intervention earlier in life.

Since 1982, Operation Smile has worked tirelessly to help children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate by mobilizing thousands of credentialed medical volunteers to provide effective surgical care and treatment programs in more than 60 countries.

As leaders in the provision of surgery in resource-poor environments, Operation Smile understands that a focus solely on cleft creates an unbalanced health system for the communities and patients they serve. With their strong medical volunteer network and stringent focus on safety through their Global Standards of Care, Operation Smile is well-positioned to increase the surgical capacities for the countries in which they work. Through training and education programs, partnering with local hospitals, governments, and Ministries of Health, and through expanding their focus beyond cleft, more local medical professionals will be able to provide critical, life-changing surgeries to those who have the most need, elevating the surgical capacities of countries on a global scale.

By supporting local health systems, their objective is to mitigate financial, social and geographic obstacles, such as transportation costs and lodging expenses, which hinder a patient’s ability to seek care. Operation Smile has the expertise to create a lasting impact for the patients it serves and influence global healthcare. By taking a patient-centric approach, they focus on three key areas; empowering communities through education, removing barriers through training, and improving access to medical care by building partnerships and creating infrastructure.

While they are capable of addressing the new caseload of patients each year, these efforts are not capable of providing care for the backlog of patients who need surgery. This is why Operation Smile is devoted to expanding resources over the next five years to eradicate the patient backlog in seven target countries, including Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Join Operation Smile in their mission to provide safe surgical care and treatment for waiting children. Visit to learn more.