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Smile Train, GSK empower Philippines’ Medical Professionals through a co-presented cleft symposium, It Starts with a Smile

September 27, 2019, Manila, Philippines — Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft organization, brings together individuals involved in providing cleft care for It Starts with A Smile cleft management symposium. The event aims to improve the knowledge and proficiency of medical practitioners and individuals involved in providing comprehensive cleft care for children ranging from newborns to adults. 

Sharing the same realization that a child with a cleft often requires more than just surgery to be fully treated and have the best chance of living a healthy and productive life, the symposium was joined by representatives from the country’s esteemed medical associations including the Association of Philippine Orthodontists, Philippine Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, Philippine Association of Speech Pathologist, and the Philippine Pediatric Dentists Society, Inc. The symposium was co-organized by The Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines and hosted by GSK.  

Through organized panel discussions moderated by medical practitioners, It Starts with A Smile, provided a platform for the attendees to share, inform, and be educated more extensively on cleft care treatment for children. Topics such as preparing the child for surgery, anesthesia concerns, and primary cleft lip and palate surgery for infants and toddlers were discussed.

For children ages three to twelve years old, speech evaluation after primary palatoplasty, dental health, and bone grafting of cleft patients were thoroughly discussed. For those who have cleft lip or palate ages 13 and up, orthodontics before and after Orthognathic surgery, assessment and considerations of the surgery, cleft management and Restorative/Prosthodontic treatment were focused on.

“GSK is committed to its partnership with Smile Train. We are proud to support this symposium, an effective event to educate local medical practitioners and individuals involved in providing efficient cleft care treatment to better the lives of those patients in need,” says GSK General Manager for GSK Consumer Healthcare Philippines, Mr. Ritesh Pandey.

“We, at Smile Train, are grateful for the support of GSK, Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines Inc. (NCFPI), Smile Train local partners and medical professionals who came to fully support the It Starts with A Smile symposium. The event provided a streamlined avenue for us to address the right audience on a situation we are constantly exposed to in our work — that cleft care does not stop with the surgery — and we need to educate more medical practitioners on how to best care for their cleft patients,” says Smile Train Area Director for South East Asia, Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano. “Through these types of initiatives, we hope to inspire more corporate and healthcare partners to be part of the patient’s continuous journey to success.” 

For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to donate, please visit To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.


About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit


Press Contacts: 

Smile Train Philippines
Kimmy Flaviano, Area Director, South East Asia

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