Charity group brings ‘Operation Smile’ to Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY -- Children and young adults afflicted with oral cleft will have more reasons to smile, as a medical team from Operation Smile Philippines (OSP) and the Ilocos Norte-based Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will provide free reconstructive surgery and other related health services to Ilocanos in this northern part of Luzon.

Dr. Bobby Manzano, OSP country director of development, said their advocacy is to reach out to children with a “very disadvantaged” position in society, turning their life into a better one through surgery.

“Can you just imagine a child with a facial deformity? He would suffer from health complications and at the same time, psychological as well as mental problems,” Manzano said, citing a lot of children with deformities are not in school for fear of being bullied.

Slated on April 1-5 at the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRBASMH) along P. Gomez Street in this city, GRBASMH chief Dr. Roger Braceros said Wednesday the provincial hospital is now accepting applicants, and the screening is set on April 1.

PRC chapter administrator Edna Orcino is encouraging concerned individuals to personally register in their office, or contact 0908-865-8960 before the scheduled date.

OSP is a volunteer medical, non-government organization that focuses on providing free reconstructive surgery and related health services to children up to young adults afflicted with oral cleft, a gap in the mouth that did not close during the early stages of pregnancy.

Its priority is to ensure safe and quality surgeries to poor and remote communities where medical services are lacking or inaccessible. (PNA)

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