Ssurgeons working


Meet Dr. Azadpanah

An inspirational leader and a long-standing partnership

Smile Train has been a supporter of CURE Hospital’s cleft program in Kabul, Afghanistan, since 2006. Under the incredible leadership of senior surgeon, Dr. Said Aolfat Hashimi, the charity has supported almost 8,000 life-saving surgeries. 

The CURE Hospital is doing fantastic work and remains the main cleft center in the country. But it is essential that more doctors are trained so that children with clefts can continue to get access to safe surgery. 

This is exactly why Haleon supported Dr. Suraya Azadpanah to travel from Kabul to Lucknow, India – a life-changing journey not only for her, but also for the children of Afghanistan.

A truly life-changing experience

With limited training available in Afghanistan, Dr. Azadpanah was supported by Haleon and Smile Train to travel to a Smile Train partner hospital in Lucknow, India to undertake additional training and development. After undertaking this additional international training, Dr. Azadpanah became approved to independently undertake cleft surgical repair back at home in Afghanistan.

“Using the knowledge gained at the training, Dr. Azadpanah estimates she will be able to treat 500 patients every year”

She also expects to train at least one surgeon in Afghanistan, ensuring the future of safe cleft surgical care in the country. 

And she won’t be alone, as Smile Train with the help of Haleon is working to ensure local sustainability for cleft-supported programs across the world. Using its incredible global network to sponsor the training of more cleft surgeons like Dr. Azadpanah. 

Ashuza Bahati, 11 months, before and after cleft surgery

Dr. Azadpanah’s surgical patient