Foundations put smiles on faces

2016-11-24 06:01
Vodacom Managing Executive, Western Cape Region, Alberts Breed, MEC for Health Western Cape Province, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and Executive Head for Vodacom Foundation, Mthobeli Tengimfene at the Vodacom Smile Week, Tygerber Academic Hospital.  PHOTO: sizwe banzi

Vodacom Managing Executive, Western Cape Region, Alberts Breed, MEC for Health Western Cape Province, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and Executive Head for Vodacom Foundation, Mthobeli Tengimfene at the Vodacom Smile Week, Tygerber Academic Hospital. PHOTO: sizwe banzi

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The Vodacom and Smile Foundations that support the effort to operate on children with facial anomalies, will provide approximately 58 children with cranio-facial and cleft surgery in Tygerberg Academic Hospital’s world-class theatres from 7 - 11 November.

This is the 9th time that the tow foundations have cooperated on the mammoth venture. To date, the funding of the project has amounted to R18 million, and so far, the lives of more than 500 children have changed for the better, through corrective surgery.

Mthobeli Tengimfene of Vodacom said: “Babies with cleft lips or palates find it hard to suckle and this impacts on their growth and development.

(the anomalies)also has an influence on their speech development, so the corrective surgery ensures that the children can develop and grow to their full potential.

Tengimfene said all children deserve the chance to reach their full potential in life.

Cleft lip and palate is the most common facial congenital anomaly in children, affecting the patients in many negative ways and require long-term specialist treatment.
The operation remedies the condition, and a multi-disciplinary approach, which includes health care, continue post operatively in hospital.

Tengimfene added that government does not always have the capacity to provide children with corrective surgery. “We rely upon donations from the private sector.”

“We will continue to support government in delivering an augmented service to the Plastic and Reconstructive Department of the hospital and remain fully committed to put smiles on needy children’s faces.”

He also said he was grateful to see Tygerberg Academic Hospital participating alongside other academic hospitals to offer a holistic surgical and psycho-social support to children with such needs and thereby contributing to a national Smile approach in the way children are treated.

Moira Gerszt from the Smile Foundation said Tygerberg Academic Hospital has a massive reach, and there are increasing numbers of children in need of reconstructive surgery.

“...As a result, a significant number of children will benefit from this Smile Week, and there is also a diverse range of surgeries taking place this week.”

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