MTN Rwanda has committed a substantial fund of 30.000US dollars (est.18million Rwanda francs) facilitate surgery on at least 300 Rwandan children.
The announcement was made on March 13 during a press conference held at Stipp Hotels in Kigali. The financial support will be used for operations of Rwandan children and adults born with cleft lips and cleft palates.
The surgeries will be carried out, from 15th to 25th of March, 2012, by a team of medical surgeons and non-medical volunteers from Operation Smile South Africa (OSSA) – a South African based organization to which MTN Rwanda is a platinum sponsor.
Other sponsors include the ministry of health Rwanda, World Vision, Stipp Hotels, Bank Populaire du Rwanda, and the South African consulate in Rwanda. The operations will be held in Kigali, from and the ministry of health will ensure the logistics of transporting the patients.
Transport means will be availed for patients from Ruhengeri, Byumba, Kabgayi, Gisenyi, Kibuye, Nyagatare, Kirehe and Rwinkwavu.
John Bosco Sendahangarwa, MTN Rwanda’s Corporate Communication Manager
said the sponsorship is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to allow free operations to those affected.
“MTN Rwanda has partnered with OSSA since three years ago in these rare operations intended to enable Rwandans with cleft lips and cleft palates smile again. MTN has already donated over $10,000 last year alone,” Sendahangarwa said.
MTN also played an ambassadorial role to bring other partners to support this cause. The sponsorship comes from one percent (1%) of profit after taxes proceeds to support projects with long lasting benefits to the society.
At least 510 patients have been operated since this establishment of this annual cleft program in Rwanda three years ago. Last year (2011) alone over 250 children and adults were operated.
Dr. Aime Lokulutu the regional OSSA coordinator said it will be OSSA’s third medical mission to Rwanda and the surgeons will provide free surgery to children and adults born with cleft lips and cleft palates.
“ There will be free examination and treatment for cleft lip and cleft palate at Hospitalier Universitaire of Kigali (CHUK) on Thursday, said Dr. Lokulutu.
To-date OSSA has conducted three medical missions in Kigali, and provided surgery to 510 patients.
Officials of the ministry of Health said the government is committed to eliminating all cases of cleft lips and cleft palates.