More than 300,000 free surgeries in 30 countries
Operation Smile is an international charity which provides free, safe surgery for children and young adults born with cleft lip and cleft palate. Established in 1982, it has provided more than 300,000 free surgeries for patients in more than 30 countries worldwide.
In January 2011, Operation Smile UAE was established under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Alyazia bint Saif Al Nahyan, wife of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Operation Smile UAE during the 50 year anniversary of the United Arab Emirates is a fitting tribute to the nation that has welcomed and embraced so many people of so many different nationalities.
Sheikha Alyazia bint Saif believes that all children deserve to smile, to be valued and loved no matter their nationality, culture or religion. Operation Smile UAE has focused on making this happen for over 3,500 cases in the UAE and in other countries including Morocco, Ethiopia, Egypt, Madagascar, Malawi, Jordan and the Philippines.
In 2017, thanks to the incredible support of Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Operation Smile UAE began providing free corrective surgeries for children and young adults residing in the UAE suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. Since 2017 Operation Smile UAE has screened 109 patients of 24 nationalities and provided surgery for 56 patients of more than 15 nationalities. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has hosted four medical missions and Healthpoint hosted their first medical mission in December 2020.
In 2020 despite the challenges of Covid-19, the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Healthpoint collaborated with Operation Smile UAE to bring smiles safely to not only patients but the families of 13 patients, changing their lives forever.
During the last 10 years, Operation Smile UAE has reached out to patients and families seeking help for their loved ones. Community volunteers have dedicated their time to spreading awareness and raising funds according to the pertinent statutory framework. Student volunteers have developed leadership skills and shown empathy for those less fortunate, and of course medical volunteers have generously donated their time and skills to ensure that every child they encounter receives treatment of the highest quality.
Operation Smile UAE will continue to extend care to those who would otherwise not have access to safe surgery or follow up comprehensive care and hopes that these efforts for serving the humanity in the land of humanity will continue to inspire many across the UAE to donate, support and lead.
In a world full of challenges it is heartwarming to know that people care for the health and wellbeing of the children of tomorrow. We thank everyone who has helped make Operation Smile’s UAE journey so successful during the last 10 years.