By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 16 Sep: Smile Train, an inter national children’s charity supporting free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children globally, inaugurated the ‘Muskan’ ward at its partner hospital, Himalayan Hospital, here, on 15 September. Susannah Schaefer, Executive Vice-Chair, President & CEO, Smile Train, inaugurated ‘Muskan’, the ultramodern Smile Train ward, along with the Vice Chancellor of Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dr Vijay Dhasmana. On the occasion, a new Smile Train chariot called ‘Muskan Rath’, supporting the treatment of patients living in peripheral areas and for the outfield activities of Smile Train, was also flagged off. The ward is aimed at providing safe and convenient treatment for children born with clefts, especially belonging to the mountain terrain. The ward will accommodate the patients and their families and will also have an entertainment area, a playroom for the children and a dedicated media room for cleft related education and medical instructions given to the family before and after the surgery as a part of augmentation of mass awareness. On the occasion, the Director of Smile Train at the Himalayan Hospital, Dr Sanjay Dvivedi, stated that in all of Northern India, this facility had been made available only in the Himalayan Hospital. CEO Susannah Schaefer, Vice President & Regional Director, Asia, Mamta Carroll, and the Programmes Manager, Sheila Koyyana, from Smile Train India congratulated the entire Hospital staff for the dedication shown towards the patients. The event witnessed the presence of patients from various places like Mumbai, Aurangabad, Mathura, Muzaffarpur and Almora, who shared their experiences. Dr Vijendra Chauhan, the Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, Dean, HIMS, Dr Sunil Saini, Vice Principal, Clinical Sciences, Dr Renu Dhasmana, Vice Principal, Postgraduate Studies, and Director of Nursing Dr YS Bisht, MS Himalayan Hospital, were also present. Vice Chancellor Dr Vijay Dhasmana said, “The Institute has been providing high quality service to the patients of cleft lip and palate with the support of Smile Train. The new ward and Muskan Rath will enable the team to reach new heights and provide better quality of service.” According to Dr Romil Bhatkoti, since 2000, Smile Train India has supported more than 550,000 free cleft surgeries across India through a network of 160+ partner hospitals. Smile Train has supported over 8,000 free cleft lip and palate reconstructive surgeries in Himalayan Hospital, Dehradun, since 2004. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local medical professionals to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.