Illustrative image (Source: operationsmile.org.vn)

Dak Lak (VNA) – Eighty-three children with cleft lip and palate in the Tay Nguyen Central Highlands will receive free health check-ups and surgeries as part of the Operation Smile Vietnam programme.

Operations for the children from Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai and Lam Dong province will be conducted from August 27 to 31 at the Tay Nguyen General Hospital in Dak Lak. Doctors from the Ho Chi Minh Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital, National Hospital of Odonto – Stomatology, and 108 Military Central Hospital, among other top medical facilities, will perform these surgeries.

The programme also subsidizes travel costs of the children.

Speaking at a ceremony opening the programme in Dak Lak on August 26, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee H’Yim Kdoh said the programme had provided such operations for 852 children in Dak Lak.

He said it demonstrate communal support toward the well-being of disadvantaged children with disabilities.

Rcom H’Mac, a Gia Rai ethnic who travelled 100 km from Gia Lai to Dak Lak for her four-year-old son’s operation, talked of the programme as a magic, helping her boy be able to speak and grow normally.

Y Liem Knun from Cu Kuin district in Dak Lak said his granddaughter could not speak normally for 13 years as she was born without a uvula, adding that the programme is meaningful to her life and his family.

Some 2,000 babies are born with cleft lip and cleft palate every year in Vietnam.

Since 1994, the National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) has run Operation Smile to provide cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for children. To date, nearly 30,000 children have benefited from the programme.

The NFVC has also mobilised resources to provide post-surgery assistance for children, thus helping them integrate into the community.-VNA