What criteria do I need to fulfil to be assisted by Smile Foundation?

Your child needs to be under the age of 18 years to be recognised as a child. Our Foundation supports facially disfigured children who come from previously disadvantaged homes.
We support children whose parent/s does not have a Medical Aid cover.

What type of conditions does the Smile Foundation assist with?

The Smile Foundation assists children with any condition of the facial area that requires Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This includes:

  • Cleft Lip
  • Cleft Palate
  • Facial Paralysis or Moebius Syndrome
  • Ear deformities
  • Nose deformities
  • Burns
  • Facial growths
  • Craniofacial conditions

Can Smile Foundation assist my child?

Smile Foundation will support your child by referring you to the nearest Academic Public Hospital. Each University Department offers monthly assessment clinics, and you would be referred to such a clinic day, date and time.

Your child would then be assessed by a qualified plastic surgeon and further information and possible surgery advised. Please understand that all the medical information and assessing of your child needs to be done by a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.

Which hospitals does Smile Foundation support?

At this stage, January 2012, we are supporting seven of the eleven Academic Hospitals nationally in South Africa.

  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital –Parktown, Johannesburg
  • Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital – Soweto, Gauteng
  • Dr George Mukhari Hospital – University of Limpopo in Ga-rankua (Medunsa campus)
  • Universitas Hospital – Bloemfontein, Free State
  • Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital – Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
  • Tygerberg Academic Hospital – Cape Town, Western Cape
  • Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital – Cape Town

How much does a surgery cost?

The surgery in the hospital is free, but there will be a small registration fee for your child to become a patient of that hospital. This is worked out by the Hospital Administration per your income.

If your child is operated upon during a Smile Week, he/she does not need to pay anything.

How long will my child be in hospital?

Depending on the type of surgery offered to your child, the duration in hospital varies. The surgeon will advise you accordingly. It may vary from 48 hours or more.

What happens before surgery?

You are told by the surgeon at the Clinic when to come to the hospital for your child’s operation.

You need to present yourself and your child at the appropriate Ward in the Academic Hospital for admission. Each hospital has a slightly different way of doing this process, but you will be advised where to go to and which documents to bring with you. Normally this would include your Identification Document and your child’s I.D.

Please ensure that the hospital has your correct contact details, especially your mobile phone number. This enables them to contact you timeously about any matter relating to your child.

What happens after surgery?

The surgeon will advise you when to take your child home and the process of discharge from the hospital will take place.

You will be told when to return to the hospital ward for sutures to be removed or for any follow up consultations.

How long will I have to wait for the surgery to take place?

This depends on the hospital and the surgeons when the operation can be scheduled. Each hospital has their own process and timeline. They will advise you and should the surgery be urgent, all this type of information will be given to you immediately at the Clinic where your child has been assessed.

If you cannot get the answers you are looking for, please contact us


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