By Progress Godfrey Abuja
Smile Train, world’s largest cleft-focused organisation has reassured its commitment to strengthening comprehensive cleft care in Nigeria.
The organisation made the reassurance during the Second “National Surgical, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia and Nursing Plan for Nigeria” (NSOANP) Stakeholders forum held on Wednesday in Abuja in collaboration with Nigeria’s Ministry of Health.
The NSOANP has become a phenomenon of globalisation as a broad range of partners, individuals and institutions help in both NSOANP formulation, implementation and financing.
Dr. Bisola Adegoke, Director Hospital Services in the Ministry, said that there are a lot of impactful commitments from various Stakeholders that have contributed to the success recorded so far by NSOANP.
Adegoke, Speaking on behalf of the Ministry said that the meeting would allow reviewing actions, feedback and milestones arising from the last meeting as well as proffer realistic and achievable steps towards furthering the course of the NSOANP.
“One of such is the dissemination of the NSOANP policy document from 2019 to 2023, to the 36 states and the FCT, also the nomination of NSOANP desk officers by the State Ministry of Health and Federal Tertiary Hospitals
“I am glad to inform us that these activities yielded great results, ” she said.
Mrs. Nkeiru Obi, Vice-President, Smile Train said that NSOANP implementation has become a Flagship Project from Africa to the world and that Nigeria is taking the lead.
“I’d like to start with this quote” without courage, we can not practice any other virtue with consistency.”
The NSOANP implementation has received high commitments from Members, Partners and relevant Stakeholders which has attributed to the achievements and successes recorded.
“In the peak of Covid, we still held the fora, we are committed to making this work, ” she added.
She lauded the immense contributions of the Ministry of Health for being very supportive in actualizing the goals of the implementation of NSOANP.
Victoria Awazie, Senior Program Manager for Smile train, West Africa said that the meeting with NSOANP and cleft care stakeholders has birthed a lot of implementation programs that have further made surgical care in the Country very rewarding.
“Smile Train has sponsored quite a handful of these projects, we have trained a lot of medical professionals, and doctors going into research, basic life support programs, and instrument repair programs.
We are committed to Cleft-care, it is a congenital disorder and not a curse or punishment from the gods, we offer basic support for Cleft surgeries and treatments.” she added.
The NSOANP is a mandate given to every country by the World Health Assembly to strengthen surgical treatments in their different Countries.
Speaking on the Cleft Awareness Media Awards 2022, Helpline Officer Nigeria at Smile Train Paul Lobi said the award was borne out of the need to expand and disseminate what Smile Train does, as well as appreciate its media partners for championing the course of telling cleft stories.
Gyang Bere, a journalist with Daily Sun emerged as the overall winner of CAMA 2022 with a cash award of $600; Adenike Adebowale-Tambe, a journalist Premium Times clinched the 1st runner-up with a cash award of $400, while Waliat Musa of The Guardian Newspaper went home with a $300 cash as the 2nd runner-up.