NEW DELHI, India, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Smile Train
(http://www.smiletrain.org), an international non-profit organization
committed to eradicating the problem of cleft lips and palates, announced
today its entree into India. Its first partnership is with IMPACT India
Foundation, a health care organization serving people throughout India,
especially the rural poor. Through this partnership, The Smile Train will
provide surgeries for children in India born with cleft lips and palates and
fund research to reduce the incidence of cleft lips and palates in semi-urban,
rural and tribal areas in India.
"This is just the beginning for The Smile Train in India," said Charles B.
Wang, Chairman and CEO of Computer Associates International, Inc. and founding
board member of The Smile Train. "We intend to work closely with IMPACT India
in order to provide training for doctors as well as surgeries for India's
children. He continued, "we also plan on developing partnerships with other
local organizations and hope to replicate the success of our work in China and
bring the experience and commitment of The Smile Train organization to India.
Our goal is to help as many children as possible throughout the world."
"We are delighted to work closely with Smile Train, an organization that
shares our mission of enhancing medical care in local communities," said A.H.
Tobaccowala, founder and chairman of the IMPACT India Foundation. "With
Lifeline Express, the world's first hospital train, we bring medical care to
needy people in rural India. With the support of Smile Train, we are able to
help many more of the estimated 40,000 children in India born each year with
IMPACT India is one of many local programs Smile Train supports to provide
free cleft surgery around the world. Smile Train partners with local medical
organizations in more than 20 countries worldwide including: the United
States, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Nepal, and Thailand. Smile Train also
partners with local medical institutions to develop and deliver advanced cleft
lip and palate teaching and education programs to in-country medical
"Many children with clefts face lifelong disabilities and ostracism due to
the lack of funds and medical services," said Baxter Urist, Smile Train
president. "For relatively modest cost per surgery, we can permanently
improve the lives of thousands of children. This opportunity to start in
India with IMPACT India fits perfectly into our primary mission goals by
providing surgery for as many cleft sufferers as we possibly can and
supporting research that contributes to our quest for a cure."
IMPACT India (http://www.impactfoundation.org) was created in 1983 to help
India's rural poor who are disabled and handicapped. Since then, it has
brought relief and recovery to tens of thousands of people suffering from
preventable and treatable disabilities. The organization creates partnerships
with governments, private companies and international organizations. IMPACT
India Foundation is the best known part of a United Nations promoted (by UNDP,
UNICEF and WHO) worldwide effort to prevent and relieve the effects of
The Lifeline Express hospital train was established in 1991 as part of
IMPACT India Foundation's innovative health care projects. It has served over
250,000 disabled persons in rural India by restoring their sight, movement and
hearing. Recently, IMPACT India decided to include cleft surgeries as a new
dimension to its services on the train. The partnership with Smile Train will
significantly expand the number of cleft surgeries on Lifeline Express.
Worldwide, millions of children bear the burden of cleft lips and palates.
Smile Train is dedicated to solving the problem of cleft lips and palates by
providing free training for doctors and other medical professionals, free
surgery to indigent children, and support for research dedicated to finding
the causes and cures for cleft lips and palates. Smile Train partners with
leading cleft organizations and medical institutions to provide services
internationally. These include: the American Cleft-Palate-Craniofacial
Association, Interplast, New York University Medical Center, John Hopkins
University, Stanford, Yale, University of Texas, Australian Cranio Facial
Foundation, and the China Charity Foundation.
SOURCE Smile Train