Smile Train and Kids Operating Room inaugurate Pediatric Surgical Care, renovate Theatres at Enugu hospital

By AdvocateNews on 13/12/2021

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By Andrea ONUOHA

The Global charities Smile Train and Kids Operating Room (KidsOR) have  unveiled newly refurbished children’s Operating Room at the National Orthopedic Hospital in Enugu (NOHE), Nigeria, bringing safer, more timely pediatric surgery closer to the community.

Speaking during the unveiling of the theatre, Smile Train Vice-President and Regional Director for Africa, Mrs Nkeiruka Obi underscored the need to prioritise safer pediatric surgery through the provision of adequate infrastructure and trained personnel.

"There is a dire need in LMICs for surgical and anaesthesia infrastructure as well as providers trained in pediatric care. Smile Train is committed to working in partnership with local medical professionals to ensure that people impacted by cleft lip and palate have access to world-class treatment in their own communities.

Through Smile Train’s partnership with KidsOR, to renovate these theatres and create dedicated paediatric operating rooms, we’re bringing high-quality, more sustainable surgical care to children in need,” said Mrs. Obi.

Dr Ifeanyichukwu Onah, Head of the Plastic Surgery Department at National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu, hailed the transformation, noting that it has instilled morale among the surgical teams, with children feeling more at ease in their recovery journey.

“Working in the upgraded theatre boosts the morale of the surgical team not only aesthetically but also using more child-friendly equipment. This theatre is now the benchmark operating space at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu. Every surgeon no matter their specialisation, desires to operate on their paediatric cases in it. Additionally, calming the children before their surgery has become easier.”

KidsOR director for Africa, Rosemary Mugwe, equally emphasized the importance of having dedicated pediatric rooms.

“We are delighted to have delivered this joint project successfully. In this theatre, we have delivered approximately 3,000 state-of-the-art equipment. Our model is to give the right tool to skilled personnel to enable them care for the children of Enugu and Nigeria at large,” she said.

Further, representing KidsOR at the ceremony, the past President of the West African College of Surgeons (WACS), Professor King David Terna Yawe, celebrated the unveiling of the theatre, expressing the value it will bring both to children and the medical professionals.

He said: “Our desire is to narrow the gap among children, in Nigeria, lacking access to safer surgery. As we know, of the about 200 million people in the country, 46 per cent, are under the age of 15. We are also keen on growing the number of qualified surgeons providing the much-needed skills among the underserved communities.”

Currently, the continent of Africa has the youngest population in the world, with the overall population set to grow exponentially by 2050. The already significant need for paediatric surgical interventions will only increase in the coming decades. The long-term collaboration of KidsOR and Smile Train will ultimately result in more than 30 paediatric operating rooms provided across countries in Africa over the next five years, treating more than 12,000 children.

The Smile Train-KidsOR partnership is also supporting a pediatric surgery scholarship for the training and education of 40 paediatric surgeons across Africa in partnership with the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA).

Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children's lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive.

To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit

About Kids Operating Room

Kids Operating Room is a Scottish-based charity working globally to provide paediatric Operating Rooms in hospitals and safe equipment to surgeons. KidsOR also funds training of surgeons and anaesthesia providers and works with Ministries of Health and professional associations to strength health systems develop sustainable healthcare services.

Working across Africa and Latin America KidsOR has installed close to 50 Operating Rooms and provided more than 48,000 children with access to emergency lifesaving and life-changing surgery.

Posted 13/12/2021 10:34:54 AM


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