Operation Smile is an international non-profit medical charity founded in the U.S. in 1982 by Dr. William and Kathy Magee with the aim of providing free surgeries to repair cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities for underprivileged children. This aim has taken Operation Smile across the globe with a presence in 38 countries, including Thailand.
The IVL Foundation has a long-term partnership with Operation Smile Thailand. In line with the objective of the Foundation to help underprivileged children in terms of healthcare, Operation Smile Thailand has demonstrated its success through its activities, such as its weeklong medical missions, which are conducted three times per year. It also has on-going medical missions, which are conducted five to seven times per year and a one stop network of comprehensive cleft care.
After a long hiatus due to COVID-19, Operation Smile Thailand resumed its Weeklong Medical Mission at the Srisangwan Hospital in Mae Hong Son province and at the Mae Sot Hospital in Tak province where 187 patients received free surgery.
In 2021, Operation Smile Thailand conducted on-going Medical Missions at five hospitals in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Lampang and Phitsanulok where 350 patients received free surgery. Beside medical mission, Operation Smile Thailand also conducted one Nasoform Mission in Khon Kaen for 50 patients and one Speech Camp Mission for 38 patients.
As Operation Smile Thailand could not conduct Weeklong Medical Mission due to the COVID-19 epidemic situation, they provided medical equipment support such as artificial ceilings, nose reshaping devices, and dental medicines to four hospitals in Mae Hong Son, Phang Nga, Ratchaburi and Tak. They also created emergency needs support called “Smile Box Project” to provide 284 boxes of essential items for post-op patients to ensure that the patients and their families would have both good health and hygiene during the pandemic.
For its weeklong medical missions at the Srisangwan Hospital, Mae Hong Son in February 2020 and at the Sisaket Hospital, Sisaket in September 2020, 116 patients were treated.
For its weeklong medical missions in 2019, 227 children were operated on. The Foundation will continue financial support for Operation Smile Thailand annually in order to help with the costs of surgery.