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Running along the coastline of Ghana for corrective surgery

March 2024 Approximately one in every 1000 babies in African is born with a cleft lip or palate. In Ghana specifically, it is estimated that one in every 760 children are born with a cleft condition.

One in 10 children born with a cleft will die before their first birthday. Those that survive are often malnourished exposing them to frequent infections. They also struggle with speech difficulties, and are frequently ostracised because of their appearance.

For these children, a relatively quick operation results in a life-changing smile. The Cipla Foundation initiative, Miles for Smiles, through Operation Smile, strives to ensure that every child with a cleft lip or palate has access to this level of surgical care.

To help raise awareness and funds for Operation Smile for corrective surgeries, adventurers David Grier and Andrew Stuart are running 160 kms in four days along the coastline in Accra, Ghana. The run is starting at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital and will finish at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. David and Andrew are no strangers to epic undertakings: in 2018, they ran roughly 4 200 kms along the entire length of The Great Wall of China, also to raise funds for much-needed cleft surgeries.

CEO of Cipla Africa, Paul Miller, said: “Our philosophy is to do well while doing good. We are exploring opportunities to make a positive impact for people in local communities, starting with the launch of Miles for Smiles in Ghana to help with funding for life-changing surgeries.

“A smile is a promise of peace, and the first sign of love. A smile is the most inexpensive gift and yet the most valuable. It’s an unspoken language – learnt by none and understood by all. That’s why Cipla wants to help ensure that no child is (c)left behind,” said Miller.

At the beginning of March, a speech surgical program was held at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Supported by a team of local and international volunteers, Operation Smile Ghana screened 64 patients and performed 34 surgeries, with the goal of enhancing the speech of patients who had previously received cleft palate surgery.

During the fiscal year ending June 2024, Operation Smile plans to provide surgical care to about 410 patients in Ghana. One cleft surgery costs around $700.

To donate towards life-changing surgeries in Ghana, click here: Any amount is thoroughly appreciated and will go a long way to making a profound difference.

For more information about Miles for Smiles, visit:

For more information about Operation Smile, visit: