During March, adventurers David Grier and Andrew Stuart (above) will be running 160 kms along the coastline in Accra, Ghana to raise funds for cleft surgery. Starting at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, the run will take place over four days, and finish at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

Around one in every 1000 babies born in Africa has a cleft lip or palate. In Ghana, the ratio is higher … one in every 760. Without intervention, one in ten of these babies will die before their first birthday. Those that survive are often malnourished. They also struggle with speech difficulties, and are frequently ostracised because of their appearance.

Yet, a relatively quick operation results in a life-changing smile. The Cipla Foundation initiative, Miles for Smiles, through Operation Smile, strives to ensure that every child with a cleft lip or palate has access to world class surgical care.

CEO of Cipla Africa, Paul Miller, said: “Our philosophy is to do well while doing good. We are exploring opportunities to make a positive impact for people in local communities.

“A smile is a promise of peace, and the first sign of love,” he said. “A smile is the most inexpensive gift and yet the most valuable. It’s an unspoken language – learnt by none and understood by all. That’s why Cipla wants to help ensure that no child is (c)left behind.”

No strangers to epic undertakings, David and Andrew ran roughly 4 200 kms along the entire length of The Great Wall of China in 2018, also to raise funds for much-needed cleft surgeries.

Click here to donate towards their fundraising run for life-changing surgeries in Ghana.  Any amount is greatly appreciated and will make a difference.

Click for more information about Miles for Smiles.

At the beginning of March, a speech surgical programme was held at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Supported by a team of local and international volunteers, Operation Smile Ghana screened 65 patients, performed 28 surgeries and fabricated 10 obturators/speech appliances, with the goal of enhancing the speech of patients who had previously received cleft palate surgery.


Surgical team

Pictured above are Marius van der Walt (dentist), Dirk Lazarus and Paul Skoll (plastic surgeons) and Roslyn Lentin (speech therapist).

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