The best Christmas gift of all – the chance to smile!

smileLife-changing surgery for 43 Western Cape children living with facial anomalies 

Cape Town, South Africa:

In what will undoubtedly be their best Christmas ever, 43 children from across the Western Cape will this month receive new smiles, or take another step closer to realizing that dream.  This will happen as they undergo life-changing surgeries for various facial anomalies as part of the Adcock Ingram Smile Week, hosted at the Tygerberg Academic Hospital from the 9 to 13 November 2015.

adcock-ingramAt one year’s old, little Amyoli from Khayelitsha will be undergoing reconstructive surgery. He was diagnosed with a craniofacial abnormality called plagiocephaly (right coronal syntosis). He will be undergoing surgery for the first time this Smile Week to correct the condition, with an incision being made from ear to ear in order to rearrange the abnormal bones of his skull.

Twelve-year-old Ilke suffered from facial paralysis. She previously had facial reanimation surgery and now will be undergoing surgery to improve her cheek fullness.

11 year old Rudawaan from Bredasdorp will be undergoing second stage ear reconstruction whereby the ear will be lifted from the head to reconstruct a sulcus. First surgery was done in February 2014 by Prof Graewe where cartilage from the rib was placed under the skin. For the second stage, the ear will be elevated for better projection.

These are just three of the 43 children from the Western Cape who will receive truly life-changing reconstructive surgery this Smile Week, made possible through the generous funding by Adcock Ingram and the support of Smile Foundation.

“On behalf of the entire Smile Foundation team, I would like to express our thanks to Adcock Ingram for believing in the need to support Paediatric patients in the Public Health Sector.  We are very excited to work collaboratively with Professor Frank Graewe and Dr Alexander Zühlke and their surgical team during this Adcock Ingram Smile Week.  There are so many children in this region needing corrective surgery, and it will be very gratifying for us to see them having these needed operations at Tygerberg Academic Hospital. A huge thank you to hospital administration for giving us the opportunity to continue supporting this Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery throughout the year and, and enabling the surgeons to give so many more children the chance to smile and be confident members of their communities,” says Moira Gerszt, Operations Executive Director at Smile Foundation.

“Adcock Ingram is proud to be associated with the Smile Week project as we believe that ‘Adding value to life’ is not a luxury, but a necessity.  In celebration of the Adcock Ingram 125th anniversary celebrated this year, we have selected the Smile Week project as one of a number of charities that we will support,” said Ms Doreen Kosi, Adcock Ingram executive in charge of the company’s Public Affairs Department.  “We are committed to improving the health and lives of the people in the markets we serve.  Thus the work achieved during this week contributes directly towards the rights to health of these children, as espoused in our Constitution,” she concluded.

Currently one in 750 South African children is born with a facial anomaly.

Smile Foundation has been partnering with Academic Hospitals in South Africa for more than 15 years to assist underprivileged children with facial anomalies, alleviating backlogs in the hospitals, encouraging skills transfer and offering psychological support before, during and after surgery as well as supporting the hospital infrastructure.

The success of the Smile Week model has been widespread. To date, over 1600 children have benefited from surgeries around the country through partnerships with funders and state Academic Hospitals.

About Smile Foundation: 

We’re About Putting Smiles on the Faces of Children in South Africa!

Smile Foundation is a South African NGO that assists children with any type of facial conditions, to receive corrective Plastic and Reconstructive surgery within South Africa. We help children who suffer from treatable facial anomalies such as cleft lip and palate, burns, Moebius syndrome (facial paralysis) and other conditions. We are currently based in 8 Academic Hospitals around South Africa. We are investing in the medical teams we work with, through a Skills Development programme, and we assist the hospitals by purchasing equipment for use by the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Our Chief Patron, the late honorable Nelson Mandela’s wish was for us to assist as many children around South Africa as possible to alleviate the stigma attached to living with a facial condition. For more information, contact Smile Foundation on www.smilefoundation.co.za or 0861 276 453. Make a donation today! Help put a smile on a child’s face today! SMS “Smile” to 38413 to donate R10. 

About Adcock Ingram:

Adcock Ingram is a leading South African pharmaceutical manufacturer, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.   We are committed to providing quality products that improve the health and lives of the people in the markets we serve.

The company was founded as E.J.Adcock in 1890, conducting business as a retail chemist in Krugersdorp.  Led by hard work, foresight and investment, the business expanded until Adcock Ingram became the first pharmaceutical company to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1949.  The journey and transformation of the company over the years has been remarkable with 2015 marking the celebration of 125 years of ‘Adding value to life’.

Adcock Ingram manufactures, markets and distributes a wide range of healthcare products. The Company is a leading supplier to both the private and public sectors of the South African market.

Expansion into emerging markets has given the Company a presence in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

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