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Friday, 06 October 2017 16:03

Spring smiles for Gauteng, North West children in need Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital Smile Week, sponsored by ICC Buying Group

In September, the spotlight falls on South Africa’s heritage, including its abundant natural heritage. But while the country’s wide open spaces are beautiful to explore, they often host rural communities that battle to access specialist medical care, like reconstructive surgery. As a result, many children living in rural areas who are in desperate need of such operations sadly never receive them.

It is with this in mind, that Smile Foundation hosts regular Smile Week programmes at the country’s academic hospitals, where families from outlying areas can bring their children – after the relevant medical assessments – for the specialist surgical help they require.

This week that includes children from the Rustenburg, Shoshanguwe and Brits areas who will be participating in the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital Smile Week, sponsored by ICC Buying Group, and taking place from 27-29 September 2017.

A total of 14 children will be operated on, with operations spanning from cleft lip and cleft palate repairs, to the surgical treatment of burns. In the latter case, some children will have tissue expanders surgically inserted under their skin. Acting like a little balloon, these expanders are gradually inflated over time, allowing the skin to expand and grow. This ‘new skin’ is then used to repair the tissue damaged by fire.

Smile Foundation’s Operations Director, Moira Gerszt, says this Smile Week in Ga-Rankuwa is a lifeline for the rural communities living in northern Gauteng and North West.

“Families living in these rural areas struggle to access the care they need for a number of reasons: they don’t always have the funds they need to transport their children to hospital; they live far away, so cannot come to the hospital for treatment and check-ups; and they often aren’t contactable by phone to schedule appointments. Added to this is the burden of care associated with raising a child who needs surgery. This is where Smile Week makes a tangible, valuable difference. We thank the CEO and Administration of the hospital, as well as the HOD of Anaesthesiology and all medical staff for the support of the Department of Plastics in this initiative.” Gerszt explains.

Over the last nine years, the ICC Buying Group has sponsored the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital Smile Week.

“We are privileged to once again sponsor these surgeries and help give these 14 children all the care and help they need to smile again,” says Gert Scheepers, ICC Buying Group’s CEO.

Media are invited to attend the Smile Week.

For further information, contact Toni Jabour 072 350 2891


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