Since 2004, we've been proud to support Operation Smile, a charity that provides safe, free cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgery for children with facial deformities.
Chances are you've never met a child with a cleft palate or a cleft lip. In most developed countries, they’re corrected soon after birth by a simple operation that leaves children with nothing but a small scar.
But elsewhere in the world, it's a very different story. Cleft lips and palates can be a severe impediment, both practically and psychologically. As well as difficulties with breathing, feeding and speech, they can cause a range of social problems, including ostracism. This can be so extreme that some parents even abandon their children.
With a presence in over 60 countries, Operation Smile is on a mission to change that. As well as raising awareness of cleft lips and palates, Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries to children and young adults since 1982 – giving each one a new start in life.
Our shared view on achieving best and long-lasting patient outcomes is that care should be holistic and address the whole range of cleft care needs, including nutrition, dentistry, orthodontics, speech therapy, as well as psychological support.
How we support Operation Smile globally
Since 2004, we’ve donated nearly 1.4 million pairs of Biogel® surgical gloves to Operation Smile but our involvement is not restricted to gifts-in-kind. In 2021 we committed to an initial three-year partnership agreement to support establishing the cleft centre in the Philippine city of Cebu - the #Cebu10000 Proogramme. In addition to funds, we will donate products, train healthcare professionals in infection prevention and provide logistics support. As expertise within Cebu and the surrounding area grows, the ambition is for the centre to become less reliant on direct support and more self-sufficient.
Our employees value the opportunity to make a difference for patients in some of the world’s most deprived areas through our global charity partner. Every year they organise a plethora of fund-raising activities to support either the Cebu10000 Programme or a local charity organisation that complies with our guidelines on local community support. The funds raised in 2021 will help fund a family lounge at the Cebu cleft centre, so that families can be there to support their children before their surgeries, reducing their anxiety and helping them to prepare. In 2022 we focus on post-operative needs with the global campaign 'Get well with Mölnlycke WeCare bags'.