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US Surgeons Bring Smiles to Zimbabweans With Cleft Lip

Volunteer surgeons from the United States under Operation of Hope have brought smiles to the faces of 48 people, including young children, who received free surgeries under the programme which started on Monday last week at Harare Hospital.

Operation of Hope teamed up with the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, Ministry of Health, the Zimbabwe Rotary and local surgeons to perform free surgeries for cleft lip, cleft palate and craniofacial reconstructive surgeries in the programme which ends Wednesday.

This is the team's 15th visit to the country.

Volunteer with Operation of Hope, Martha Pamire, told Studio 7 the programme has been going on very well and received an overwhelming response with some of the patients now awaiting to have surgeries next year.

"We had an overwhelming response to our programme and we will be back again same time next year. Those interested in the programme should visit the Harare Hospital Children's Hospital to get more information so that they can participate in next year's programme,"

Meanwhile, one of the mothers whose one year old daughter, Natalie, was operated Monday says she is overjoyed and has already seen changes in her daughter who is now able to feed properly without food coming out of her nose.

The woman, who only identified herself as Mrs. Nyangoni, said she is grateful to Operation of Hope for providing the free surgeries that will enable her daughter to now lead a normal life.

"They catered for all my expenses and for that I am grateful. I was able to be with my daughter during the operation. I am praying and wishing that next year we have more surgeons coming from America so that more people can get help,'' she said.

She said she travelled all the way from Chivhu after hearing about the programme and cannot wait to take her daughter back to her home area where she hopes the stares and whispers she normally received whenever people caught a glimpse of her daughter will now be a thing of the past.

Natalie had both cleft lip and cleft palate.

"I can't wait to take Natalie home she has already started eating well after the operation without food coming out of her nose," said Mrs. Nyangoni.