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2000 Smilestone for Muthoot Pappachan Foundation’s Cleft Surgery Mission

In Health
January 23, 2020

Muthoot Pappachan Foundation (MPF), the CSR arm of Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG) through their flagship program ‘Smile Please’, in association with Mission Smile, concluded 2000 cleft surgeries in Vadodara.

The endeavour of the initiative is to conduct ‘Comprehensive Cleft Care Surgery Missions’ across the country, free of cost. The foundation provides free surgical support to children affected with congenital lip and palate cleft disorders and makes effort to resolve end-to-end concerns associated with this health condition.

Commenting on the milestone, Thomas Muthoot, Chairman and Managing Founder-Director, Muthoot Pappachan Group, said, “Cleft lip and cleft palete, is not just a cosmetic issue, but a life-threatening deformity. In most of the cases, it can actually be corrected surgically, however with considerable & complex aesthetic and surgical intervention. Lack of awareness and restrained access to financial and medical-infrastructural resources, especially of families belonging to the socio-economically deprived backgrounds, becomes a huge obstacle for kids to receive quality surgery and care in time.

Apart from the substantial psychological impact, given the deformity is on the face of a kid, has major medical repercussions as well. In fact, for many kids cleft deformity proves to be fatal due to malnutrition and/or infection. Understanding the enormity of the situation and the kind of deep involvement it requires, we at Muthoot Pappachan Foundation judiciously joined hands with expert Cleft Care Organization – Mission Smile back in 2014, to provide comprehensive cleft care programs across the country and have been able to transform the lives of 2000 people, so far. At the same time, we are also focussing to address the larger concern of creating awareness around the misconceptions related to superstitions around this deformity”.

Dr Prasanthkumar Nellickal, Head – Corporate Social Responsibility, Muthoot Pappachan Foundation said, “In India, 35000 cleft cases come up every year and 3 infants are born with some type of cleft every hour. Muthoot Pappachan Foundation has been fortunate to be instrumental in transforming 2000 lives afflicted with cleft lip and cleft palate disorder across the nation. While complex surgery is a key part of the mission;, from taking care of the nutrition component of the malnutritioned patients, to distributing basic food item kits like cereals, pulses, ghee, dry fruits, jaggery, salt etc. on monthly basis, the initiaitve strives at providing comprehensive care. 2000 is a key milestone for us and helps fuel our drive to serve the community, but there’s still a long long way to go. In fact, we have two more upcoming missions, in this fiscal year, in Pondicherry from 23rd February to 26th February and Aurangabad from 21st March to 25th March.”

So far, Muthoot Pappachan Foundation has conducted cleft surgeries in 12 states across cities like Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Pondicherry, Nagercoil, Kottayam, Gulbarga, Goa, Vadodara and Jaipur. Employees across Muthoot Blue group companies, viz., Muthoot Fincorp Ltd., Muthoot Microfinance Ltd. and others, have voluntarily provided on ground support, making it the largest employee engagement activity for the group. The latest camp at Isha Hospital, Vadodara is for a span of 5 days from 19th January 2020 to 23rd January 2020. The camp was inaugurated by Vadodara MP,  Ranjanben Dhananjay Bhatt followed by thorough screening of patients. The surgeries are being performed from 20th January till 22nd January, with the patients finally getting discharged on 23rd January.

The first Mission of ‘’Smile Please” initiative was conducted at Muthoot Life Brigade Hospital, Kottayam from 11th to 18th October 2014 in which 52 patients were given free cleft surgeries. A 40-member medical expert team across from 7 states volunteered for the Mission. Besides the corrective surgeries, the Foundation takes comprehensive care of the kids along the lines of – paediatry, anaesthesia, maxillofacial & plastic surgery, child psychology, speech therapy, medicinal requirements, pre-operation tests, pathology, travel fares, picking up & dropping of patients, food and lodging for the patient as well as the person(s) accompanying for the duration of the patient’s stay – entirely free of cost.