RAK Hospital partners with Smile Train to offer free Cleft Surgeries
RAK Hospital has joined forces with Smile Train to provide free cleft surgeries to children affected by cleft lip and/or palate across the Middle East
Sited just an hour away from the Dubai International Airport, Arabian Healthcare Group’s flagship brand, RAK Hospital, has partnered with Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, to provide free cleft treatment for children affected by cleft lip and/or palate in the UAE and across the Middle East.
Globally, a baby is born with a cleft every three minutes. A cleft occurs when certain body parts and structures do not fuse together during fetal development. Clefts can involve the lip and/or the roof of the mouth, which is made up of both hard and soft palate. Around the world, many children with clefts do not receive the reconstructive surgery they need. However, this regional program aims to support patients who cannot afford the required surgery.
RAK Hospital is set to conduct about 30 free surgeries a year for children affected by the condition, with the support of Smile Train. The free cleft reconstructive surgeries will be conducted for patients over the age of three months after a thorough assessment of each individual case. Procedures will include primary cleft lip repair, primary cleft palate repair and a number of other specialized secondary surgical interventions. All the surgeries will be performed in compliance with Smile Train’s Safety and Quality Protocols and will be documented as per their required format.
Sheikh Saqr bin Saud Al Qasimi said, “Cleft lip and palate affect so many children globally but can easily be rectified with simple surgery – this makes it incumbent upon us to take action to help improve the lives of all those with the condition. The initiative between RAK Hospital and Smile Train forms a partnership between two internationally respected institutions and is aligned with Ras Al Khaimah’s strategy of developing a world-class healthcare system to benefit the people of our Emirate and also the many patients who seek to travel here for specialized procedures.”
Discussing this ground-breaking partnership, Dr. Raza Siddiqui, CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group and Executive Director, RAK Hospital, said, “We are very proud to partner with Smile Train to support their vision of transforming the lives of children with cleft lip and palate. As an institution, RAK Hospital has always remained at the forefront of providing community care by introducing various new initiatives, measures and advanced treatment options. With the support of Smile Train, we are looking to conduct about 30 absolutely free surgeries a year for the children affected by the condition. And it is with great pride that I can announce that the first surgery under this noble initiative supported by Smile Train has just been successfully completed on a one-year-old boy from Abu Dhabi.”
Smile Train works to empower local medical professionals with the training and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. It builds capacity by strengthening local health systems; and to date, the organization has trained more than 2,100 medical professionals, supported more than 1.5 million cleft surgeries and partnered with over 1,100 partner hospitals.
“We are delighted to launch programs in the UAE in partnership with RAK Hospital, a world-renowned hospital with a commitment to excellence in patient care. We’re ready to work closely with them to ensure that every person in need is able to get the high-quality, timely cleft care they need to thrive,” said Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO, Smile Train.