In Tanzania, NGOs Smile Train and Kids Operating Room Complete Renovation on First Joint Pediatric Operating Room

The state-of-the-art pediatric operating room and recovery unit is equipped with the latest medical equipment and colorful wall art of animals, trains and balloons – designs intended to transform the often intimidating environment of an operating room into a welcoming, kid-friendly space.

A dedicated pediatric operating room is essential for Bugando Medical Center, which serves a region of more than 14 million people and performs an average of more than 9,000 surgeries per year.

Acting Director General of the Bugando Medical Center, Dr. Fabian Massaga, emphasized the importance of an operating room dedicated to pediatric surgical care that provides essential, life-saving surgical care to children. “With many patients seeking surgical care in our facilities, children are often neglected when it comes to accessing high-quality surgery. By prioritizing pediatric surgical care, our teams can support the next generation. The operating rooms breathe fresh air into the hospital surgical department, and children can recover in a more reassuring environment,” said Dr. massage.

Smile Train Vice President and Regional Director for Africa Dr. Esther Njoroge-Muriithi was delighted with the landmark completion of the operating room, which she sees as indicative of a much larger – and much needed – shift in access to surgical care across Tanzania and the region.

“The new operating room will not only enable surgeons to improve their skills in pediatric care, but will also have a significant impact on the lives of the children we aim to transform through surgery. Children with easily treatable surgical conditions, such as cleft lip and palate, can provide quality life-saving care when they need it most,” says Dr. Njoroge-Muriithi.

Rosemary Mugwe, Africa Director for KidsOR, celebrated the completion of the pediatric operating room and the role of dedicated pediatric surgeons.

“By installing world-class surgical facilities such as we have done at Bugando Medical Center and training surgical teams to become pediatric specialists, children can receive the care they need. By building local capacity in this way, we are helping to create sustainable healthcare services.” said Rosemary Mugwe.

Smile Train and KidsOR share a long-standing commitment to increasing access to pediatric surgical and anesthesia care through a sustainable and empowering model. In partnership with the West African College of Surgeons and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa, Smile Train and KidsOR will also support training and education for more than 40 surgeons across Africa, enhancing long-term local surgical capacity is being built up.

Over the past two decades, Smile Train has empowered local medical professionals to provide safe, high-quality cleft lip surgery and ongoing care for cleft lip and palate, supporting more than 1.5 million surgeries over the past two decades for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. .

Likewise, KidsOR, founded in 2018 after years of collaboration in safe surgery, works to provide dedicated, specialized facilities and equipment for pediatric surgery in resource-poor settings, and to support local surgical teams through training and infrastructure development. . KidsOR is committed to installing 120 pediatric operating rooms across Africa by 2030.

An estimated two-thirds of the world’s children do not have access to safe surgical care. The long-term partnership will eventually result in more than 30 pediatric operating rooms being offered over the next five years in several countries in Africa, treating more than 12,000 children.

About Smile Train
Smile Train provides training, funding and resources to local medical professionals to provide children worldwide with free cleft lip surgery and comprehensive cleft lip care. We promote a sustainable solution and a scalable global health model for the treatment of cleft lip and palate, dramatically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak and ultimately thrive. Visit to learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach ensures that donations have both an immediate and long-term impact.

About operating room for children (KidsOR)

Kids Operating Room is a global children’s charity committed to giving every child access to safe surgery when needed. More than two billion children do not have access to safe surgery. Every year more children die from not getting the surgery they need than from malaria, HIV and TB combined. KidsOR is saving the lives of children in low- and middle-income countries by installing and equipping state-of-the-art pediatric surgery theaters and training surgical teams to work in them. Since 2018, KidsOR has performed more than 34,000 life-changing surgeries in 29 operating rooms in 14 countries

SOURCE Smile Train

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