With only two plastic surgeons serving a population of 13 million people, Operation Smile's goal is to increase surgical capability by delivering safe, timely cleft and reconstructive care for the people of Rwanda and support neighboring countries.
By partnering with the University of Rwanda, Operation Smile is helping to address the significant need for safe surgical care in the country through different training programs for both anesthesiologists and general and plastic surgeons. Since the beginning of this collaboration in 2015, the number of in-country plastic surgeons has leapt from two to five. Additionally, 22 general surgeons have been trained in plastic surgery techniques. They are located throughout the country, enabling more Rwandans to access timely, safe surgical care than ever before.
By 2027, Operation Smile aims to train 10 new plastic surgeons and more anesthesiologists. This is a five-fold increase in the number of certified plastic surgeons in the country, and this will allow thousands more children to have access to safe, timely and affordable surgical care.
Meet Rwanda's First Female Plastic Surgeon
More Stories from Rwanda
Scenes of Hope and Healing: Kigali Resident Training Program
To help alleviate needless suffering, we're aiming to increase the number of board-certified reconstructive plastic surgeons available to serve Rwanda's population by 2022.
In Rwanda, a mother's quest to help her son
Judith’s trials in life started long before she gave birth to her son. She was an orphan and struggled to find the means to feed herself. She had her son, Alejandro, at 17 years old, and with no help, she felt painfully alone.
Enok remembers being jeered, mocked, chased by packs of children and having people recoil at the sight of his cleft lip. While his memories echo the stories of thousands of Operation Smile patients – most young children – Enok had already endured a lifetime of torment when he received surgery at 25 years old.