GUWAHATI, Feb 17 � A state-of-the-art facility to treat cleft lip and palette deformity was inaugurated by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today at the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital.
Developed in the Public Private Partnership mode, the Operation Smile Cleft Care Centre has been dedicated to make Assam cleft lip free within the next few years.
After inaugurating the centre, the Chief Minister said, �I appreciate the work of Operation Smile and especially the doctors who have come here to serve the people of Assam�it is a world class facility and the patients would benefit from it�.
He said that the Government was also contemplating about creating a new medical facility dedicated exclusively to children. It�s a new plan, but can be achieved within two years, Gogoi added.
Speaking on the occasion, State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that from today onward patients suffering from cleft lip and palette deformity will have a world class facility with highly qualified doctors at their service.
He mentioned that so far 7,000 cases have been screened under Operation Smile, and 2,996 patients have been operated in various parts of Assam. The target would be to operate on 5,000 cases per year so that the patient load decreased within a short time.
The new facility at MMC Hospital has been built at a cost of Rs 5.60 crore of which the Government of Assam has provided funds worth Rs 3.80 crore. Max Bupa and Tata Trust have also provided financial aid to its establishment.
He expressed confidence that the new facility would be able to make Assam free of cleft lip and palette deformity in the coming years.
Addressing the media, Ranjit Barthakur, Chairman of Operation Smile India said that the new centre is the most important initiative towards making Assam a cleft-free State in the whole country. One of the objectives of the facility would be to reduce the cost of surgery from Rs 1.20 lakh to Rs 8,000 in the near future.
He said that Operation Smile is open to take the services of volunteers in its mission to serve patients with cleft lip and palette deformity, and made an appeal to local doctors to join in its endeavour.