Fewer children with cleft lip/palate
With concern on a growing number of children with cleft lip/palate nationwide, AIA Thailand moves forward the "AIA Operation Smile Project", contributing free surgeries for 170 underprivileged patients.
Since the project was initiated in 2004, the AIA formed collaboration with the Operation Smile Thailand and hospitals in all regions of the country to provide free reconstruction surgeries to the need children with cleft lip or cleft palate. The project was successful in bringing smiles back to more than 1,600 patients with the AIA’s fund of over Bt16 million.
ML Jiraseth Sukhasvasti, chief life officer, AIA Thailand, revealed that this year, the company joined hand with the Operation Smile Thailand, Buddhachinaraj Hospital in Phitsanulok and Maharaj Hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat provices to offer free surgeries for 85 children in each province. The AIA donated Bt1.7 million to the Operation Smile Project for the surgeries. In addition, the AIA also supported other expenses including travel, food for patients and cargivers as well as patient rooms.
In additon, it is a part of activities to celebrate His Majesty the King’s 85 years anniversary celebration.
"According to the official figures of public health, it’s alarming that approximately 1 in 500 children born have a cleft lip and/or a cleft palate or about 2,500 patients each year, especially children in the northern and northeastern regions. Apparently, most of the patients’ families are farmers and poor," said ML Jiraseth.
Clefts can also affect other parts of the face, such as the eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, and forehead. Thus, the project is aimed to give them better health, enhanced quality of life and save the children from a lifetime of shame.
The Operation Smile Thailand is one of 25 Operation Smile operations with a presence in over 60 countries worldwide. Found in 1982, it is an international children’s medical charity that heals children’s smiles and bring hope for a better future.
Through the help of dedicated medical volunteers and public and private partnerships, to provide free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
Jiraseth said that the AIA Operation Smile Project is in line with the AIA’s CSR policy to enhance healthy living. Besides this project, the company is a sponsorship of 15 Thai Premier League football teams. The objective of this is to promote an interest in football among Thai youth, to improve their health and well-being. Moreover, the company opens its youth soccer clinic to teach children playing football.
In addition to medical & public health, the AIA also supports education and community development with various activities. Meanwhile, the company has initiated a campaign called 'AIA Volunteers' inviting AIA staff and agents to voluntarily take part in the company's various CSR projects.