Cel­e­brat­ing 10 years of fix­ing smiles

Cape Times - - METRO - RAPHAEL WOLF raphael.wolf@inl.co.za

THE Smile Foun­da­tion will mark its 10th an­niver­sary of part­ner­ing with Tyger­berg Aca­demic Hos­pi­tal with 20 more life-chang­ing re­con­struc­tive surg­eries for chil­dren next week.

“For us the 10th an­niver­sary of Smile in Cape Town is a cel­e­bra­tion of many part­ners unit­ing be­hind the heroic sur­gi­cal and med­i­cal fra­ter­ni­ties that change chil­dren’s lives,” said the foun­da­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Hed­ley Lewis.

“Our role is to act as a cat­a­lyst in or­der to bring to­gether the med­i­cal fra­ter­nity, the donor com­po­nent and to aug­ment the ser­vices that these in­cred­i­ble hospi­tals de­liver.

‘‘And in or­der for the aug­men­ta­tion to oc­cur, we have had an ar­ray of donors, who have stepped in over the years to in­vest in the fu­ture of our coun­try,” he said.

Lewis said it had been a priv­i­lege for the foun­da­tion to have part­nered with the Pro­vin­cial Health Depart­ment, the Tyger­berg Hos­pi­tal and the Red Cross Chil­dren’s War Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal, as well as the med­i­cal fra­ter­ni­ties that have brought life-chang­ing surg­eries to their pa­tients.

“In a nut­shell, our or­gan­i­sa­tion is 19 years old this year and we work with 11 hospi­tals across the coun­try,” he added.

Dur­ing this year’s Smile Week, cel­e­brated from this Mon­day un­til Fri­day, 20 chil­dren would un­dergo surgery at Tyger­berg Aca­demic Hos­pi­tal.

The surg­eries ranged from se­rial ex­ci­sion ne­vus (re­moval of skin le­sions) to cranio re­mod­elling (re­shap­ing the bones of the skull).

The pa­tients’ ages range from five months to 13 years.

Smile Week would be spon­sored by the Ad­cock In­gram phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany, which is com­mit­ted to us­ing some of its prof­its for the up­lift­ment of South African chil­dren, said Lewis.

“I would like to pay trib­ute to doc­tor Alex Zulka for over­see­ing the Smile Week and ded­i­cat­ing his skills to chil­dren re­quir­ing re­con­struc­tive surgery,” he added.

The foun­da­tion plans to hold a press con­fer­ence at the Tyger­berg Aca­demic Hos­pi­tal on Tues­day, when it will pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion about its plans for the surg­eries and for its an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

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