North West Regional Assembly, Smile Train Seal Deal to Combat Cleft Defects

The North West Regional assembly has officially signed a partnership agreement with Smile Train to treat children born with cleft lips/palates. This agreement was entered this January 26th in Bamenda at the North West Regional Assembly under the auspices of the Governor.

President of NWRA and Director of Smile Train seal deal in the presence of North West Governor

Cleft lip/palate is a birth defect where the baby is born with a gap or split in the upper lip and/or roof of the mouth. This condition can be corrected through surgery.

Smile Train is the largest cleft-focused Organization with a model of providing training, funding, and resources to empower local communities in over 70 countries while ensuring 100% free cleft surgery and other forms of essential cleft care in these communities. They have been working in different countries to see that cleft lip is a thing of the past. “I am pleased to share that Smile Train has now supported till date more than 3000 cleft surgeries in Cameroon”. The Director of Smile Train for West and Central Africa, Dr Nicole Bouba remarked.

The President of the Regional Executive Council, Prof Fru Angwafo III said this partnership will go a long way to curb cleft disorders. “The partnership agreement with Smile Train will help educate the public about cleft while helping to spread awareness of the free, life changing cleft surgery provided by smile train.”

To this effect, Prof Angwafo III urged families with children having cleft lips to bring their children for treatment. “We are expecting all mothers, all families that hitherto were hiding these children because they were ashamed, stigmatised or discriminated to come out, bring our children, they will be treated”

North West Governor, Adolph Lele Lafrique

Witnessing this new union between the two institutions, the Governor of the North West Region, Adolph Lele Lafrique remarked that it has brought about hope to the people of the region. He urged everyone to be mobilizers to see that this course is a success “…be the spokespersons to mobilize those suffering from the disease to liaise with the smile train to bring smile not only in Bamenda but the entire region”.

Smile Train was founded in 1999, located in 245 countries worldwide and has funded over 12000 surgeries in Central Africa. They were established in Cameroon in 2011 and currently have ten partner hospitals across seven regions of the country.

By Sandrine M.

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