Smile Train partnership
With GSK Consumer Healthcare’s heritage in specialist oral health, we know the importance of a healthy mouth, which is why we’re proud to launch a new partnership with Smile Train, a world-leading charity which empowers local medical professionals to provide free, life-changing surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children with cleft lip and palate in more than 90 countries.
Together with Smile Train, we are united in our shared vision and commitment to help transform lives, one smile at a time.
Over the next 5 years, we will provide Smile Train with valuable funding, support and expertise to help more children living with clefts lead full and productive lives, as well as helping increase awareness and education about cleft.
in every 700 babies are born each year with a cleft globally
is the average number of minutes it takes to repair a simple cleft lip
empowered medical professionals offering children life changing cleft surgery
surgeries performed by Smile Train-supported medical professionals to date
Meet Jaya* – our first GSK Smile Train baby
Jaya is the first baby to have her cleft reconstruction surgery with the help of GSK employee fundraising and Smile Train, the world’s leading charity dedicated to cleft lip and palate.
Jaya was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. Her parents, Arun and Sudha knew nothing about this condition. A local doctor drew a picture and explained to them what cleft is.
It was when her parents took Jaya to see Dr. Dhatchayini, a pediatrician in a private hospital for cleft treatment that they learned about Smile Train’s work and free cleft surgeries at Sri Ramachandra Hospital in Chennai. Jaya was three months old when she had her first surgery.
What is cleft lip and palate?
One of the most common facial birth differences, it is a split in the upper lip and/or roof of the mouth (palate). Causes are unknown, although it can run in families.
Cleft surgery can cost from as little as $250, but if left untreated, children can often struggle to eat, breathe and speak properly, which can leave them isolated from communities and with on-going health issues.
In the developed world it is almost entirely corrected within the first 6 months of life, meaning the condition has relatively low visibility and awareness.
About Smile Train
Smile Train supports 100% free comprehensive care for cleft patients. This can range from a nutritional programme to ensure the child is physically fit for surgery (since many cleft patients will be malnourished) to orthodontic care and speech therapy post-surgery where available.
Smile Train work only with a sustainable model where local doctors receive additional training and support from Smile Train and then carry out surgeries utilising local facilities.
Smile Train provide funding for equipment and financial aid, so their partners can provide free cleft surgery and care.
Smile Train work across the world. View their interactive map to find out more.
*Patient name changed for privacy
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Improving health globally
Millions of people live with unmet healthcare needs. We want to help change this, using our scientific expertise, our partnerships and our global reach.
We are a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer.