Global Smile Foundation MENA (GSF-MENA) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to conducting cleft outreach programs throughout the Middle East and Africa. One of its main goals is to alleviate the suffering of underserved patients born with congenital facial deformities with special emphasis on patients with cleft lips and palates.
Many of GSF-MENA’s patients cannot afford to have their congenital deformities corrected and if left unrepaired, these deformities can lead to a variety of problems that fundamentally affect the wellbeing of both the individual and the community. Furthermore it can lead to speech deficits, nutritional insufficiencies, dental problems, ear infections and even hearing loss. Moreover, the disfigurement carries with it a devastating social stigma for the individual and the family. Caring for an untreated patient creates a burden of the family, resulting in greater poverty and suffering. Correcting this physical deformity and addressing the psycho-social aspects turns a vicious cycle into a virtuous one. We have so many stories of success–what is transformative for the individual has repercussions that ripple throughout the family and the community in powerful ways.
Through the rigorous fundraising efforts of GSF-MENA and the surgical team lead by Dr. Usama Hamdan, President of Global Smile Foundation, and Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sitta, Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, over 150 surgeries are being performed a year!
Changing their lives is simple: one surgery takes approximately one hour and only costs about $2,000
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