The Vodacom Smile Week Comes to Tygerberg Academic Hospital this November | Western Cape Government

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The Vodacom Smile Week Comes to Tygerberg Academic Hospital this November

15 November 2010

From 15 - 19 November, the Smile Foundation will provide approximately fourteen (14) children with cranio-facial and cleft surgery in Tygerberg Academic Hospital's world-class theatres.

"We are privileged to have the continued support of the Vodacom Foundation in sponsoring this coming Smile Week. They have enabled our organisation to facilitate so many surgeries for children who are in a situation of 'double jeopardy' - poverty and disfigurement," said Moira Gerzst, COO of The Smile Foundation.

"It is also very gratifying for us when the hospital positively acknowledges our Smile Week model within their system. Together with Vodacom, the hospital personnel, and surgeons, we all love seeing the children and families with smiles on their faces," said Gerszt.

Mthobi Tyamzashe, CEO of the Vodacom Foundation, said, "This is the eighth (8) time Vodacom has partnered with The Smile Foundation on a Smile Week, and it is something Vodacom as an organisation feels passionate about. All children deserve the chance to reach their full potential in life. The Vodacom Foundation is very privileged to partner the Smile Foundation in helping these youngsters regain the full use of their facial expressions."

Cleft lip and palate is the most common facial congenital anomaly in children. This deformity affects the patients in many negative ways and needs long term specialist treatment. The operation remedies the condition, and a multi disciplinary approach which includes health care professionals, will continue post operatively at the Hospital, contributing to the best outcome for the child.

Mr. Theuns Botha, the Provincial MEC for the Western Cape, expressed his support for this Smile Week: "The Department of Health does not always have the capacity to provide children with corrective surgery. We rely upon donations from the private sector, and this partnership between The Smile Foundation, Vodacom and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, is a model that works extremely well. We are proud to be associated with this Vodacom Smile Week."

Marc Lubner, Executive Chairman of the Smile Foundation said: "The Foundation is encouraged by Tygerberg Academic Hospital and Vodacom's continued trust in them and that it will continue to deliver augmented service to the Plastic and Reconstructive Department of the hospital and continue to put smiles on needy children's faces. I am so grateful to see Tygerberg Academic Hospital participating alongside 5 other Academic hospitals to offer a holistic surgical and psycho-social support to children with such needs and thereby contributing to a national Smile approach in the way children are treated."

Issued by:
Directorate Communications
Western Cape Department of Health

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