Discuss the “Mission Smile” of Govt. of Assam .
Ans : Mission Smile - Free Surgery for children having cleft palate and lip :-
“MISSION SMILE” (formerly known as “Operation Smile India” ) is a Govt. registered Medical Charitable Trust dedicated to providing free life changing cleft care and surgery for children and adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. Mission Smile has created a unique Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Assam and National Health Mission, Tata Trusts towards creating ‘Cleft Free’ Assam & North East India. Assam is very close to becoming the first ‘Cleft Free’ state in India. Mission Smile has completed more than 20,000 surgeries in Assam and neighbouring states. In 2011 , a dedicated Mission Smile Comprehensive Cleft Care Center was established in Guwahati , Assam .
It is estimated that 1 in 700 children in India is born with a cleft lip, cleft palate or another facial deformity→(Survey by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India in 2010). The approximate incidence of cleft lip and cleft palate is 1.4 per 1,000 live births in India. But more recent studies put the number at 1 in every 700 births . There is an existing backlog of 1 million untreated children and adults in India alone.
The estimated number of clefts in Assam is a figure which varies in the range of 20,000 to 30,000 being the backlog of patients in the State and around 1000 to 1200 patients being born every year.
"Mission Smile" since January 2009 has been partnering with the Government of Assam to provide free surgeries to cleft patients of the State to fulfill the Agreement with the Government (signed in May 2009) through a Public Private Partnership model to make Assam a “cleft free” State. With this Objective in mind strategy has been put in place to address patient needs through a combination of Camps called Missions and a permanent Centre to build capacity and provide surgery to a large number of patients every year.
“Mission Smile Comprehensive Cleft Care Center , Guwahati” aims to :-
a) Build capacity
b) Develop local skills
c) Provide year round surgeries to cleft patients.
The centre has a capacity to provide surgeries to nearly 4000 patients in the year at full capacity.
“Mission smile” is looking at bringing the cost per surgery down to Rs.17,500 from Rs 20000/- per surgery, which includes screening, travelling expense of the patient, their accommodation and fooding, camp cost, OT cost, travel expense of the Medical team of the NGO within India, their accommodation and fooding. The NGO uses its own resources for International travel, mandatory fee for MCI for foreign surgeons to work in India, Medicines, equipment transportation, maintenance, etc.
Conclusion :- “Mission Smile” and Govt. of Assam has created a Unique Public-Private Partnerships of this magnitude in the world which undertakes medical missions throughout Assam and North-East to identify needy cleft children for corrective surgeries. Special screening camps are organized to select cleft children for these life-altering surgeries. Since 2011, more than 16,000 safe corrective surgeries have been conducted by the Mission. The Mission has become a project of excellence in “Comprehensive Cleft Care” not only in India but also in the world.