Abbott supports Operation Smile medical missions in 25 countries

4 December 2007

Abbott is supporting Operation Smile's global initiative to help children with facial deformities by providing treatment to an estimated 5,000 children in need of surgery.

The initiative, which is part of Operation Smile's 25th anniversary celebration — World Journey of Smiles — consists of 40 medical missions across 25 countries. Abbott has donated 1,700 bottles of its anaesthesia product, valued at almost $500,000, for the surgeries.

Since 1993, Abbott and Abbott Fund have donated more than $3 million in grants and products to support Operation Smile medical missions, helping treat more than 20,000 patients worldwide. In 2005, Abbott Fund expanded its partnership with Operation Smile to help build sustainable healthcare capacity in developing countries, including strengthening the expertise of paediatricians and anaesthesiologists to provide emergency critical care. To date, Abbott Fund and Operation Smile have trained more than 1,600 health workers in nine developing countries.

"Abbott has supported Operation Smile for many years, and once again is providing critical support as we work to transform the lives of children through our World Journey of Smiles initiative," said Bill Magee, M.D., Co-founder and CEO of Operation Smile. "We are proud to be their partner in improving the health of children and adults around the world."

"Abbott is proud to help Operation Smile accomplish its 25th anniversary goal of bringing smiles and hope to an estimated 5,000 children in 25 countries," said Kathy Pickus, director, Global Citizenship and Policy, Abbott. "Through ongoing medical missions and programs to train health workers, we look forward to continuing our partnership to make an enduring contribution to improving people's lives."

About Operation Smile

Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children's medical charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, it has treated more than 100,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

Operation Smile ran the World Journey of Smiles from 7-16 November, 2007. More than 1,700 volunteers participated in the mission, including over 700 from the United States and over 1000 from 43 other countries. It involved 40 hospitals, care centres and clinics in 25 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.The mission had the goal of treating 5,000 children born with cleft lips and cleft palates.

Operation Smile's co-founders, Dr Bill Magee, a plastic surgeon and his wife Kathy Magee, a former nurse and clinical social worker launched this mission on 7 November in Naga City, the Philippines, the site of their first mission, 25 years ago.

In this year's World Journey of Smiles, Operation Smile Jordan chartered a flight to Bagdad to pick up 30 children in need of surgery and took them to Amman in Jordan along with 10 Iraqi doctors who assisted in the surgical operations. It also treated children from throughout Jordan.

In Kisumu, Kenya, three children from one family joined their father and brother in having their cleft lips and palates repaired to give them all the ability to smile.

See videos of the mission's activities on the Videos on World Healthcare pages.

For more information on Operation Smile see:

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