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Israeli Doctors Bring Smiles to Children in Vietnam

Dr Omri Amudi and colleagues with a young Vietnamese patient

Two Israeli surgeons from Rambam Medical Center in Haifa returned from a trip to Vietnam, where they corrected facial defects in children.

Last week, two surgeons from Rambam Medical Center in Haifa – Omri Amudi and Zach Sharony – returned from Vietnam, where they participated in an international project called “Operation Smile.” They were part of a team of approximately 300 other doctors who operated 12 hours a day in order to complete over 500 surgeries.

Operation Smile provides free reconstructive surgery for cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe. The 30-year-old program has been operating in Vietnam for the past 25 years and has completely eradicated cleft palate and cleft lip among adults there.

These potentially life-saving surgeries are performed mainly in developing countries for impoverished populations, where facial birth defects are widespread.

A child born with a cleft palate has twice the odds of dying before his or her first birthday. Those who survive may have difficulty eating, speaking, hearing or breathing properly. In some


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