Operation Smile

Cleft Lip  Repair

in a baby

Bilateral Cleft Lip

that should  have been

repaired when she was  a baby

Unilateral Cleft

Lip Repair

Cleft Palate


Operation Smile

A non-profit organization based in Norfolk, Virginia (USA), founded in 1982 by Christian plastic surgeon William (Bill) Magee and his wife Kathleen.  They operate the organization as a secular NGO and provides cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children and adults worldwide. To date, Operation Smile has provided reconstructive surgery to over 200,000 children and adults in more than 60 countries.


Global Reconstructive Sorgery Outreach

supporting doctors and nurses financially in this endeavour

to offer their services for free

Facts on Cleft Lips and Cleft Palates 

Facts about Cleft Lip & Palates


  • 175/1000 children die before age 5 year in Sub Saharan Africa. In the UK it is 6/1000

  • There are 10 000 births per hour in the world of these 1:600 with clefts lips or palates in South East Asian countries, 1:1000 births  in Western countries and 1:1250 in African countries.
  • Worldwide 18 babies with clefts lip and/or palates are born per hour, that is one every 3 minutes. Many will grow up into adult life without repair.
  • At any time there are approximately 300 000 cleft lip and palate patients awaiting surgery


Operation Smile

Helping them One Smile at a Time

  • To serve the poorest of the poor
  • In countries where up to 50% of the population has no access to any medical care
  • Much needed surgery offered free to restore dignity, self worth and physical function
  • Operational in Africa, South America, South East Asia, India, Eastern Europe
  • We need your support
  • www.operationsmile.org

Training of Doctors,  and Surgeons in Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery

Great emphysis on training of local trainee doctors and surgeons

  • Programme at Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Taking trainee doctors on missions to observe, to train
  • Operating Room instruction
  • Formal teaching