Operation Smile Thailand
Associations and Non-Profit Organizations
Operation Smile is an international non-profit medical charity founded in the U.S. in 1982 by Dr. William Magee and his spouse, Kathy Magee with the aim of providing safe surgeries to underprivileged children and young adults at no cost to address facial deformities such as cleft lip, cleft palate and burns. This aim has taken Operation Smile across the globe with a presence in 38 countries.
The first mission in Thailand was undertaken in 1997 with great support from the former Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Anand Panyarachun. In 2001, Operation Smile Thailand was registered and established as an official charitable medical foundation to provide help to indigent patients in remote rural areas across Thailand. Owing to the tireless devotion of our medical volunteers, non-medical volunteers and our staff, more than 13,000 life-changing treatments were provided.
Statistics show that every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. A child born with a cleft palate often is unable to successfully breastfeed or bottle feed. Children with these deformities can suffer from a multitude of medical problems including difficulty with speech development, hearing difficulties resulting from ear disease and chronic ear infections, and breathing problems followed by complications such as pneumonia. Children born with these deformities often hide away from the world because of the stigma and isolation it brings, their self-esteem shattered. In Thailand, there are countless numbers of cleft children living their lives untreated.
Operation Smile Foundation (Thailand) has created long-term sustainability by providing educational opportunities to our in-country medical volunteers. This will benefit the planning of medical treatment for patients with cleft lip and cleft palate as well as patients suffering from burn injuries - another area of our expertise. These educational programs range from international medical conferences that involve the exchanging and sharing of new techniques and knowledge, to training programs for medical professionals such as international life support trainings, which are made possible by being a global partner with the American Heart Association.