Cleft organization Smile Train announces the Safe Surgery and Anesthesia Initiative in partnership with Lifebox, a global nonprofit organization that aims to make surgery safer in low-resource settings.

This initiative will develop cost-effective technical innovations, invest in critical education and training for health workers, and carry out related research – all essential components of safe surgical and anesthesia care. Ultimately, the partnership will reach more than 1,100 hospitals in 70 countries, elevating the standard of care for pediatric surgical patients around the globe, according to a media release from Smile Train.

“With a shared dedication to supporting safe, high-quality surgery and anesthesia, and a shared passion for scaling innovative technologies that can transform surgical care, Smile Train and Lifebox are now expanding on our history of fruitful collaborations.

“As a nonprofit whose goal is to empower local medical professionals to treat patients with clefts in their own communities, we are thrilled to be working with Lifebox to bring additional training, education, and other critical resources to our global network of partners.”   

— Smile Train President & CEO Susannah Schaefer

Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon, public-health researcher, co-founder and Chair of Lifebox, and member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, will serve as the Initiative’s Global Ambassador. Dr. Gawande will lend his public health and global surgery expertise to support the strategy, vision and direction of the partnership, per the release.

“As a surgeon, I’ve seen the impact that high-quality training, resources and equipment can have in the operating room for providers and patients alike. I am honored to support the Safe Surgery and Anesthesia Initiative to bring better, safer care to cleft patients – strengthening surgical systems around the world. It will change lives. It will save lives.”

— Dr. Atul Gawande

Jointly Distribute Pulse Oximeters

Together, Smile Train and Lifebox have jointly distributed more than 2,000 pulse oximeters globally. A pulse oximeter is critical for safe surgery and plays a vital role in the triage and care of COVID-19 patients.  Many hospitals urgently need more of these life-saving devices.

The first phase of the partnership, launching December 2020, will see the distribution of 500 additional pulse oximeters across Africa and other regions, many still responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next 3 years, Smile Train and Lifebox will work to identify and explore the development of more affordable, accessible solutions vital to ensuring safer surgery and anesthesia care.

“We look forward to this new initiative between Smile Train and Lifebox, focusing on local needs and scalable solutions to improve pediatric surgical and anesthesia care for thousands of children globally.”

— Professor Miliard Derbew, pediatric surgeon, Lifebox Board Member, and Chief Executive Officer of King Faisal Hospital, Rwanda

[Source(s): Smile Train, PR Newswire]

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