April 13, 2023
Doctors of the World warns of the humanitarian needs of thousands of migrants abandoned in the desert in Assamaka (Niger)
The operations are often too expensive for many families, or the public health system is not equipped to provide the procedures. As a result, thousands of children continue to suffer from birth defects or injuries such as severe burns that could be easily treated if they had access to the appropriate medical care. In addition, these children also face social stigma and marginalization because of their appearance.
Since 1989 through our program Opération Sourire (Operation Smile), Doctors of the World has operated on patients with cleft lips, cleft palates, burns, and tumors free of charge across countries such as Cambodia, Madagascar, Pakistan, and Niger. In our 30 years of work, our teams have treated 17,000 patients and conducted hundreds of hours of surgical operations.
When we met Sitraka, 15, he was suffering from a cleft lip and cleft palate. Due to his appearance, he was often teased and bullied at school.
Doctors of the World was able to provide him with vital reconstructive surgery, free of charge. After his operation, Sitraka is no longer taunted at school and can study in peace.