Smile Train Wins 2021 NHEA Special Recognition Award
The 2021, Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA), has honoured Smile Train, world largest free cleft/ palate care provider, with a ‘Special Recognition Award’, for its excellence support of healthcare professionals via trainings and funding, and also providing a 100 per cent free cleft care to Nigerians.
At the event which was held last weekend at Victoria Island, Lagos, the organisers described Smile Train, which was founded 22 years ago to support free cleft lip and palate care for children and adults in the developing world, as a phenomenon.
In a statement by the organisers, it said Smile Train uses a unique sustainable and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, while also empowering local medical professionals in the cleft ecosystem. “Smile Train has provided over 1.5 million free cleft surgeries across the world, with active programs in 40 African countries.
“In Nigeria, since 2007,
Smile Train has developed partnerships with 50 hospitals and provided life-changing cleft surgeries to nearly 30,000 patients.”
Speaking with journalists after receiving the award which was presented by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, Smile Train Program Director for West and Central Africa, Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi, appreciated the organisers for recognising the efforts of the non-profit organisation.
According to her, “it is a great pleasure for us at Smile Train to be so recognised by an award body as prestigious as NHEA. We want to say thank you to Nigerians who counted us worthy for nomination, and eventually voted for us to go on to win this.
“We say a big thank you to all our partners whose cooperation has made it possible for Smile Train to be recognised for excellence not just in Nigeria but globally. The dream is to continue to put a smile on the faces of every cleft/ palate patient. “Our vision is to continue to work towards a world where every person has access to high-quality comprehensive cleft care and is able to live a full and healthy life,” she said.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO),
Over 6,000 babies are estimated to be born with cleft annually in Nigeria.