World Smile Day: Himalaya Lip Care partners with Smile Train to create awareness about cleft lip
World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October every year. This year, Himalaya Drug Company has partnered with the NGO Smile Train to put a smile on children’s faces and serve a bigger cause.
On the eve of smile day, the company has launched the flagship social impact initiative ‘Muskaan’ in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to create awareness about cleft lip and palate.
Cleft lip and palate occurs when certain facial tissues do not fuse properly during the foetal development. Globally, at least 1 in 700 babies on an average are born with this birth defect every day. However, in India, this incidence is highest in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which see more than 3,500 cases every year, owing to the population density, according to Smile Train.
“Every year in India, more than 35,000 babies are born with a cleft. This can greatly impact their ability to thrive, as having an untreated cleft can cause difficulties in eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. There is a lack of awareness that cleft can often be treated with a safe surgery,” said Mamta Carroll, Vice President and Regional Director Asia, Smile Train.
She adds that their partner hospitals across Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are now slowly resuming cleft surgeries, while following the enhanced safety guidelines to protect both patients and health workers. Smile Train is supporting free treatment for cleft patients.
Screengrab from the launch of the 'Ek Nayi Muskaan' campaign
The campaign ‘Ek Nayi Muskaan' is aimed at providing free cleft treatment to children who need it, and focus on spreading awareness about the same at the grassroots level.
“Through our partnership with Smile Train India, we have been bringing smiles to a lot of families across India in the past five years by facilitating free cleft surgeries for their children. Our endeavour is to continue transforming the lives of many more children living with cleft and help them achieve their dreams,” said Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Business Director-Consumer Products Division, The Himalaya Drug Company.
While Himalaya is a household name for herbal products, Smile Train is an NGO that has been empowering local medical professionals with training, funding and resources to provide free cleft care globally.
With this partnership, they hope to reach the maximum number of people in these two states through their multimedia awareness campaign, so that more people can learn about it and avail the treatment.