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Emergenza Sorrisi mission gives smiles back to children with cleft lip

Emergenza Sorrisi mission

The latest mission by Italy-based Emergenza Sorrisi (Doctors for Smiling Children), sponsored by the Emirates Airline Foundation, achieved 29 life-changing surgeries for children born with cleft lip and other facial deformities.

The mission, in conjunction with the organisation Friendship, flew a team of medical volunteers on Emirates from Italy to Bangladesh to deliver care at floating hospital ships. The Friendship hospital ships, including the Emirates Friendship floating hospital, reach out to remote, impoverished and flood-affected communities throughout Bangladesh to bring much-needed medical care.

Throughout the year specialists, like Emergenza Sorrisi, fly in thanks to donations of Emirates Skywards Miles, to run camps on board the ships in various specialties – in the case Emgergenza Sorrisi’s mission, for maxillofacial and plastic surgery.

The team on this 2015 mission was composed of seven medical volunteers, including maxillofacial and plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses. The team screened 35 patients, and admitted 29 for surgery. Surgeries, at a rate of five each day, were carried out alongside local staff. After the surgery the patients were admitted to the post op recovery room where they stayed for one or two nights until recovered.

Emergenza Sorrisi mission

“It is astonishing to see every day so many people arriving on the boat looking for medical care. Every year we are touched by the professionalism and kindness of Friendship staff who work tirelessly to give the best help to these poor people,” said team leader, Francesca R. Pacelli. “During our stay on the hospital ship we knew we were in the right place to help those who otherwise would never have their smiles back again.”

Emergenza Sorrisi has been carrying out missions in Bangladesh since 2010, and look forward to continuing their work in the region in the coming years.

Skywards Miles donated online to the Emirates Airline Foundation are used to fly doctors, engineers and other volunteers travelling on humanitarian missions around the world. The Emirates Airline Foundation sponsors travel for dozens of humanitarian volunteers each month. To learn more about how to donate your Miles, log in to your Emirates Skywards account.

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