MISAMIS ORIENTAL – Ninety-seven children with “cleft lip” and “cleft palate” conditions benefited the “Smile for Hope Project” initiated by the provincial government of Misamis Oriental, provincial administrator John Venice Ladaga said.
He said the children undergone a free medical operations on “split upper lip” and “palate” surgery in Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital of Manticao on August 21st to 25th, 2023.
Ladaga said that the weeklong project was initiated by Gov. Peter “Sr. Pedro” M. Unabia as part of the comprehensive PAGLAUM Development Agenda, which focuses on letter “A” for Aggressive Programs for Youth Welfare and “U” for United Efforts in Health and Social Services Delivery.
He said that the project was carried out in partnership with the “Smile Train-Maharlika Charity Foundation Incorporated” and the “Mindanao Shrine Club-Misamis Oriental Chapter.”
Dr. Benedict Valdez, the foundation Mission Director, said that the doctors in the “Smile for Hope Project” were volunteers from Davao del Sur, Camiguin, Zamboanga, and Manila.
“Regardless of the cost of the operations, it is important that kids with cleft lip or cleft palate conditions are saved from being bullied and ridiculed in school,” Valdez.
Beyond the kids’ physical transformation, the children now feel renewed hope, confidence, and a radiant smile that will change and light up their lives forever, Valdez added.
Valdez lauded Gov. Unabia for initiating the “Smile for Hope” project, which demonstrated the governor’s dedicated responses to the people’s health needs.
According to Ladaga, Gov. Unabia and the stakeholders of the “Smile for Hope Project” are planning to establish a Cleft Center in the province, particularly in Manticao, a municipal town west of Misamis Oriental.