A child is checked up for cleft palate operation (Illustrative photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC), on June 10, presented gifts to children, who are treated for maxillofacial defects at the Vietnam – Cuba Friendship Hospital in Hanoi.

A total of 150 gifts worth 500,000 VND (21.4 USD) each, sponsored by the Operation Smile Vietnam, were presented to young patients with cleft palate and jaw cyst.

The activity responded to the ongoing National Action Month for Children 2019, themed “joining hands for poor and ethnic children”.

Operation Smile Vietnam is part of a global alliance of Operation Smile Foundations and Resource Chapters dedicated to providing free treatment to children and adults suffering from cleft palate.

Operation Smile’s first medical mission to Vietnam took place in 1989. Two years later, a volunteer network of Vietnamese medical professionals established Operation Smile Vietnam.

The NFVC launched its Operation Smile programme in 1994 to provide free cleft palate surgeries for children. Since 1997, the programme has also aided adolescents and adults.

In 2018, the fund provided check-ups for over 3,100 patients and operations, with more than 2,000 having operations at a cost of over 15 billion VND.

To date, close to 30,000 children with cleft palate have received free surgeries at a total cost of nearly 70 billion VND (2.9 million USD).

The NFVC has also mobilised resources to provide post-surgery assistance for the young patients, thus helping them practice pronunciation and integrate into the community.-VNA