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Mission Reports


Ethiopia



Mekelle - May 10 to May 20, 2013

Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle




Mekelle - October 11 to October 21, 2012

In October 2012, Operation Smile conducted its 17th surgical mission at Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle. A team of 48 medical and non-medical volunteers joined the mission from Egypt, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and the USA , working alongside local Ethiopian volunteers for ten days to screen 193 patients and provide free reconstructive surgery for 111 children and adults.

Operation Smile places a huge amount of focus on creating self sustainable programs and therefore training is an important aspect of all missions. During this large-scale program, local health care professionals such as resident surgeons, dentists, and nurses from Ayder Referral hospital as well as a biomedical engineer from Jimma University Specialized Hospital (JUSH), were given the opportunity to work alongside our volunteer team, learning from each other as hands on training and experience was gained by all involved. As Operation Smile’s second trip to the Tigray region within the past 5 years, we continued to receive tremendous support from Mekelle University, Ayder Referral Hospital, Tirgay Regional State Office and other local donors and sponsors.




Mekelle - May 10 to May 20, 2012

Operation Smile Ethiopia has been one of the most active free medical service providing organizations in the country starting in 2005. Since the beginning, Operation Smile Ethiopia has conducted two medical missions per year along with hands-on medical educational trainings in collaboration with different hospitals.

In May 2012, Operation Smile organized its 15th surgical mission, this time located at Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle. A team of 65 medical and non-medical volunteers joined the mission from Egypt, India, Italy, Kenya, Sweden and USA, that worked alongside our local volunteers for ten days to screen 222 patients in two days and to provide free reconstructive surgery for 122 Ethiopian children and adults.

During this mission many Peace Corps volunteers, SOS nursing school students, and Mekelle University Medical students provided invaluable assistance with translating, transporting patients and managing our patient shelter. Despite it being the first mission that Operation Smile had conducted in Mekelle for many years, we received tremendous support from Ayder Hospital and local donors and sponsors. The one week post op turned out to be a positive event as well, as 112 of the patients returned, looking happy and pleased to face the world with their new smiles.




Addis Ababa - November 8 to November 17, 2011

Operation Smile in Ethiopia’s 14th mission was conducted at the Menilik II General Hospital. During this mission medical volunteers from 13 different countries (Ethiopia, Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Italy, India, Sweden, South Africa, Egypt, Ecuador and the US) came together to provide free life-changing surgery for the children and adults of Ethiopia. Through their work together, 114 patients received medical evaluations, 70 received surgery, and 75 surgical procedures were performed. Sixty of the seventy patients, who received surgery, also received post-operative evaluations.

Among the patients and their families who received surgery was 10 year old Zenab. She turned up for 6 month post op in Jimma with her father. She had received surgery for her cleft lip in May and was hoping to receive surgery for her cleft palate at the mission in Addis. She was very shy, and did not speak. Her father was also quiet, but exuded an inner spirit that was both tender and brave. After traveling to Addis for the mission, which was the first time they had left the surrounding Jimma area, Zenab was provided with life-changing surgery. After her surgery her father said, “I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us. We will not forget you.”




Jimma - December 4 to December 12, 2008

Mission Site: Jimma University Specialized Hospital
Medical Evaluations: December 4 & 5, 2008






Axum, Tigray - October 3 to October 10, 2008

Mission Site: St. Mary Hospital
Medical Evaluations: October 3, 2008






Addis Ababa - November 8 to November 16, 2007

On November 8, 2007, Operation Smile returned for the third time to the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa to conduct an international medical mission for the World Journey of Smiles. An enthusiastic team of volunteers from Australia, Canada, Israel, Italy, Spain, and the United States worked for 10 days to medially evaluate more than 200 patients and provide free surgical care to 109 patients.

This year’s medical team was composed of over 40 medical and non-medical volunteers who unselfishly gave their time, energy and compassion to change the lives of hundreds of Ethiopia children and their families.

During the WJoS more than 50 dentistry students at the Jimma University. students had the opportunity to attend the training and watch the procedures during the surgery week.

Operation Smile in Ethiopia also organized medical education opportunities in Addis Ababa: a training at the Yekatit 12 Hospital, a conference at the Neurology Department and a conference for pediatricians and ENTs.

November 2007-World Journey of Smiles International Mission at the Jimma University Specialized Hospital

On November 8, 2007, Operation Smile returned for the second time to Jimma to conduct an international mission at the Jimma University Specialized Hospital for the World Journey of Smiles. An enthusiastic and hard working team of volunteers from Ireland, Italy, Canada, UK and the United States worked for 10 days to screen over 152 patients and provide free surgical care to 127 patients.

This year’s medical team was composed of over 45 medical and non-medical volunteers who unselfishly gave so much of their time, energy and compassion to change the lives of hundreds of Ethiopian children and their families.




Quiha, Tigray - June 30 to July 8, 2007

Operation Smile’s inaugural mission at the Hansian Ethiopia Welfare Organization (HEWO) Hospital in Quiha Mekele, Tigray took place from June 30 – July 8, 2007 in collaboration with the Tigray Health Bureau. The regional medical mission compromised an enthusiastic and hard working team of volunteers from Italy, India, Kenya and the United States. They worked for 10 days and medically evaluated more than 50 patients and provide free surgical care to 28 patients. This year’s medical team was composed of more than 28 medical and non-medical volunteers who unselfishly gave so much of their time, energy and compassion to change the lives of Ethiopian children and their families.




Jimma, Addis Ababa - November 30 to December 8, 2006

An Operation Smile Medical Mission team was in Jimma and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for simultaneous medical missions which took place November 30-December 8, 2006 to provide free medical evaluations and reconstructive surgery to children born with facial deformities.

A team of 42 medical and non-medical volunteers from Australia, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, and the United States worked with Ethiopian medical professionals in Addis Ababa at the Black Lion Hospital. The team provided 265 free medical evaluations and 131 patients received free life-changing surgery. This mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was sponsored by Ethiopiaid, a leading United Kingdom charity which works exclusively in Ethiopia. Ethiopiaid also funded Operation Smile’s 2005 inaugural mission to the country. Ethiopiaid was founded in 1989 by Alec Reed CBE, Founder Chairman of Reed Executive, after he visited Ethiopia and was moved by the plight of the people he met whose lives had been devastated by famine, conflict and hardship.

In Jimma, an international team of nearly 40 medical and non-medical volunteers worked together at Jimma University Hospital. The team, comprised of plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, nurses, a dentist, speech pathologist and others, are from Canada, Kenya, India, Ireland and United States. The international team members worked side-by-side with Ethiopian medical volunteers and provided more than 177 children with free medical evaluations and the team provided free reconstructive surgery to 116 children suffering with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

To prepare for this medical mission, Operation Smile, in collaboration with the Addis Ababa Health Bureau and Menelik II Clinical Nurses Training School, conducted a Basic Life Support (BLS) course from November 13-November 17, 2006 at the school’s Dormitory Hall. More than 100 healthcare professionals from public and private hospitals participated in the five-day training course. The BLS for Healthcare Providers Course is intended for participants who provide healthcare to patients in a wide variety of settings. These healthcare providers include doctors, nurses, paramedics, medical technicians, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, doctor’s assistants, registrars, interns, medical and nursing students in training, aides, medical and nursing assistants and other allied health personnel. The Course is a prerequisite for advanced courses in resuscitation, including Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Neonatal Life Support (ANLS), Advanced Medical Life Support (AMLS) and BLS Instructor Courses. The Course is comprised of 38 modules and teaches the skills of CPR and choking for victims of all ages, including ventilation with barrier devices, pocket masks, bag-valve-mask devices with supplemental oxygen, and the use of Automated External Defibrillators. To participate on an Operation Smile medical mission, nurses must be trained and certified in PALS and BLS, anesthesiologists are required to be certified in PALS and ACLS and pediatricians must be PALS certified.

Operation Smile, Inc. is registered and licensed by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice and has collaborated with the Addis Ababa Health Bureau and the Ministry of Health. Operation Smile also works closely with the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The charity is honored to have the support of the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Ato Girma Wolde-Giorgis.




Addis Ababa - November 28 to December 10, 2005

An international team of 47 Operation Smile medical and non-medical volunteers traveled to the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and conducted Operation Smile's inaugural mission to the country. The volunteer team changed the lives of children from throughout the country who were suffering from facial deformities. The team consisted of plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, a dentist, speech pathologist and other medical volunteers from Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and United States. These volunteers worked side-by-side with Ethiopian volunteers at Black Lion Hospital to provide free medical evaluations to 433 children and young adults. One hundred eighty-four of those patients received life-changing surgery to repair their cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

This inaugural Operation Smile mission in Ethiopia was been made possible thanks to the efforts of many people. Ethiopiaid, a leading United Kingdom charity which works exclusively in Ethiopia, funded Operation Smile's inaugural mission to the country. Ethiopiaid was founded in 1989 by Alec Reed CBE, Founder Chairman of Reed Executive, after he visited Ethiopia and was moved by the plight of the people he met whose lives had been devastated by famine, conflict and hardship. Operation Smile worked closely with the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Operation Smile, Inc. is registered and licensed by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice. The charity is honored to have the support of the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Ato Girma Wolde-Giorgis.






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