Smile Train is an international non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to provide assistance to children born with cleft lip and palate around the world. The organization entered into a cooperative, joint effort (the “Association”) through which Faculty of Dental Sciences (FDS) will be able to maintain, or even possibly increase the number of cleft reconstructive surgeries and improve the safety and quality standards through financial, technical and other support from Smile Train. Hence, the Smile Train Project was established under the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and funding of the partnership initiated in 2002.
The primary objective of the project is to engage in activities aimed at improving resources and standards of care of the patients with cleft lip and palate. Annually, the project is sponsoring minimum 200 reconstructive surgeries for patients with cleft lip palate including their revision surgeries. In addition, its funds are mainly utilized to procure consumable items and equipment for the management of patients with cleft lip and palate (surgery, orthodontic and restorative). Smile train has spent around Rs. 11 million in purchasing Fiber optic naso-endoscope, Multipara Anesthetic monitors and LED operation theatre lights for both theatres. In addition, ICU ventilator worth Rs. 3 million was procured to ICU of the Dental Teaching Hospital. In 2016, the project also spent Rs. 2.6 million on two high spin washer extractor machine and heavy duty industrial tumble dryer for the Operation Theatre.
Ultimately, the Smile Train Project helps to improve and maintain the safety and quality standards of the cleft reconstructive surgeries by providing financial, technical and other support. Smile Train Cleft Center at the Faculty of Dental Sciences has now been recognized as one of the leading cleft centers in Sri Lanka.