Local hip hop star Tay Grin has been named ambassador for Operation Smile Malawi (OSM), an organisation that helps provide surgical services to children with cleft.
Speaking after he was taken on a tour of OSM operating theatre at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Qech) in Blantyre yesterday, the artist said he was overwhelmed by what the institution is doing to help children with cleft.
“When I was approached for this noble cause, I did not have to think twice. To me, it is an honour to spread the message about the good work Operation Smile Malawi is doing.
“From the tour, I have come to appreciate how they operate and it was amazing to interact with children that had just been operated on as well as their parents and the medical staff,” he said.
Tay Grin said his role will be to raise awareness about cleft.
“As an artist, I am a role model and I can use my voice to spread the gospel about the free treatment that OSM offers at no cost.
“So, let us all help spread the message about Operation Smile. Let the people out there know that the programme includes free transportation, accommodation and meals,” he added.
Tarang Makhecha, trustee of OSM, said considering Tay Grin’s fame they are hopeful that he can reach out to as many people as possible.
“We are looking for people to help spread the word for us and Tay Grin is the ideal person for the drive.
“We provide transport, food [nutrition] and the actual operation to the patients. After six months, we follow up with the patient to see how he or she is doing,” he said.
Makhecha said as of Wednesday, Operation Smile had carried out 1 000 operations since its inception in 2012.
“We recently received 5 million pounds [about K4.82 billion)]funding towards the drive to eradicate cleft in the country.
“Operation Smile Malawi strives to provide the ultimate care for children, particularly those living with cleft lip and cleft palate,” he said. n