Leveraging the wide network of RMNF in the country, Smile Train aims to reach more patients and parents of children with clefts and educate more communities in the country through Cleft Con Radio. Aside from comprehensive cleft care, Smile Train utilizes its learnings from its telehealth program by discussing topics which may be of help to people with cleft as well as their loved ones who may need more information on how to assist and interact with them in their daily lives. Topics such as feeding and nutrition, surgery and post-surgery care, speech therapy, oral hygiene, among others, will be discussed with each one skewed towards the specific needs of those with clefts.
“This partnership means a great deal to the foundation. We know that there are millions out there who rely heavily on radio to receive much-needed information, especially during this time when access to information is limited. We wish to lend a helping hand not only as believers of Smile Train’s advocacy but that we are cognizant of the needs of our fellow Filipinos around the country,” said RMN’s President and Chairman, Eric S. Canoy.
Cleft Con Radio will start May 25, 2:30 p.m. on RMN DZXL 558 and will be on air every other Tuesday thereafter, until July 27. Each discussion is designed to help more people understand the cleft community better. Starting with basic topics such as What is a cleft? to more in-depth ones such as breastfeeding and nutrition of infants with a cleft and challenges cleft-affected individuals face such as bullying.
Each episode will also be made available online for those who are unable to access the discussion in real time. To check the topics, schedules, and uploaded episodes, interested parties can go to Smile Train Philippines’ Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SmileTrainPhilippines/ and RMN DZXL’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RMNDZXL558Manila/.
“Smile Train is grateful for like-minded partners like RMNF. The pandemic truly highlighted the needs from people affected with cleft. Cleft Con Radio is an initiative meant to enable patients and their parents or guardians to continue their learning, as well as educate the public about cleft during the time we all have limited access to information. Through RMNF, we are confident that we will be able to reach more individuals and communities,” said Smile Train South East Asia Area Director, Kimmy Flaviano.
Since the start of the pandemic, Smile Train’s speech telehealth program in the Philippines has treated over 200 patients, providing them with more than 1,000 cleft care-related sessions—including speech therapy, nutritional support, breastfeeding guidance for mothers of babies with clefts, pre-surgical consultations, and psychosocial care. Recently, the organization launched the country’s first Filipino speech therapy mobile application which serves as a platform for more patients and families born with cleft to continue to receive comprehensive cleft care with minimal disruptions.
For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to donate, please visit smiletrain.org. To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please visit smiletrain.ph, follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines. The Smile Train Philippines mobile application can be downloaded via Google Play.