Videcon supports Operation Smile Mission in Ghana
The owner of the trade-only security distributor, Videcon Ltd, joined Operation Smile on their latest medical mission in Ghana, providing safe surgery and support for people with cleft lip and cleft palate.
Along with the rest of the travelling party, which included Scottish entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne, Andy Croston spent a week in the country with Operation Smile, the non-profit international children’s medical organisation whose surgeons carried out 144 cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries to patients who couldn’t otherwise access this surgery.
A child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate every three minutes, making them the most common birth defects across the globe. Worldwide, one in every 700 babies is born with a cleft, which can lead to serious issues with feeding and hydration.
Surgery, normally performed within three to twelve months dependent on the case, is all that’s needed to take care of these children. However, in low-income countries with incredibly limited access to any healthcare support, cleft lip and cleft palate issues can lead to a risk of malnutrition and speech impairment and sufferers often grow up feeling like outcasts in their communities.
This year alone, Operation Smile has carried out over 20,000 free surgeries to people of all ages living with a cleft condition. The charity has also provided free health check-ups, feeding sessions and speech therapy programmes to thousands of patients.
Reflecting upon his visit to Ghana, Andy said:
“My time with Operation Smile was a truly eye-opening experience that has really exposed some of the fundamental issues we actually face in the world. It has made me appreciate even the simplest of things we have here in the UK from clean running water to healthcare. If we can help in places like Ghana by supporting organisations like Operation Smile, this will immeasurably improve the living standards of some of the families I met there.”
“Secondly, I am hugely honoured to have been in the company with volunteers including surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists that allow Operation Smile to carry out their life-changing work with the utmost care and professionalism.”
Karen Jaques, Chief Executive Officer of Operation Smile UK, said:
“It was our pleasure to accompany Andy to Tamale, Ghana where he was able to closely follow seven month old, Faustina and her family through the whole screening process to surgery for her cleft lip and nose repair. Faustina was just one of the many patients operated on – Tamale currently has no reconstructive surgeons so this mission enabled us to take care of many who would not have had access to surgery otherwise. We cannot thank Andy and his company Videcon enough for their support, enabling us to change lives and futures of those who needed our care.”