Shija hospital observes fifth anniversary of Smile Train project in state; project to touch Myanmar from June 28


IMPHAL June 12: The Shija Hospital and Research Institute today observed its fifth anniversary while side by side launching ‘Mission Myanmar’ today.

The programme which was held at the hospital premise was attended by health minister L Jayanta and Mamtaa Carrol, program manager of Smile Train (Eastern Zone) among other dignitaries.

The Smile Train project sponsored by the Smile Train Incorporated, a US based NGO was taken up by Shija Hospital and in course of time many individuals mainly children having cleft lip and palate in the state have been operated on.

Under the project Shija hospital has performed 1927 cleft operations. Of these 20 percent were conducted outside the state including in Myanmar.

Managing director of SHRI, Dr Kh Palin stated that the project will be taken up in the neighboring country Myanmar starting from June 28 to extend the campaign, he said that there are numerous cleft and palate cases in the country which are left unaddressed due to lack of surgeons and only one surgeon from Thailand has been treating the cases in the country.

It is also speculated that Myanmar must be having around 50,000 to 60,000 cleft lip and palate cases out of its 15 million population with most of them requiring operation.

Palin said that the patients of Myanmar go to Thailand for surgery which is costly and time consuming.

“ Since the treatment we offer is free of cost and the close vicinity between Manipur and Myanmar would prove much effective in addressing the cases”, he said.

The campaign will also be extended to Tripura, Nagaland and Cachar.

Health minister L Jayentakumar attending the anniversary celebration as the chief guest assured that necessary help would be extended to Shija Hospital’s Mission Myanmar.

“We’ll be extending necessary help if required”, he said before adding, “I will make my own arrangement to attend the forthcoming programs”.

Expressing the need to mobilize the human resources of the region, the minister also provided a brief update on the latest status of the proposed Imphal-Mandalay bus service which was initiated when he was transport minister. Besides he also informed the gathering particularly the media that NEDFI had agreed to take up a medicinal and aromatic plant project in the state.

Mamtaa Carrol, program manager of Smile Train (Eastern Zone) attending the STCP anniversary while sharing on a similar sentiment, said,”Our project has no boundary as we are moving forward for a cleft free society. So it should be made mandatory to send persons with cleft cases from Myanmar to Manipur without any hesitation otherwise there would be no meaning of the Look East Policy”.

A Myanmarese citizen Sabilal (52),a resident of Tamu township who had been waiting his turn for the free operation at Shija said,”I’m happy now as I would get proper operation here”. He is among nine Myanmarese patients who have come down to Imphal for treatment of various ailments.



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