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 85 countries.

Image courtesy of Smile Train

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.

  • 1

    in every 700 children are born each year with cleft

  • 45

    is the average number of minutes it takes to repair a simple cleft lip

  • >2,100

    partner surgeons offering children life changing cleft surgery

  • >1m

    surgeries performed by Smile Train doctors to date

Meet Jaya* – our first GSK Smile Train baby

Image courtesy of Smile Train

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 paediatrician 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.

The transformation has been extraordinary. Jaya’s thriving and her next cleft palate surgery will be when she is nine months old. We’ll be there to check in on her progress and learn how she is getting on later this year.

What is cleft lip and palate?

Image courtesy of Smile Train

One of the most common facial birth defects, 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 provide 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