Clayton Snyman, 12, had life-changing surgery at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital during a previous Smile Week. File photo: Brendan Magaar African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – The Smile Foundation will mark its 10th anniversary of partnering with Tygerberg Academic Hospital with 20 more life-changing reconstructive surgeries for children next week.

“For us the 10th anniversary of Smile in Cape Town is a celebration of many partners uniting behind the heroic surgical and medical fraternities that change children’s lives,” said the foundation’s chief executive, Hedley Lewis.

“Our role is to act as a catalyst in order to bring together the medical fraternity, the donor component and to augment the services that these incredible hospitals deliver.

‘‘And in order for the augmentation to occur, we have had an array of donors, who have stepped in over the years to invest in the future of our country,” he said.

Lewis said it had been a privilege for the foundation to have partnered with the Provincial Health Department, the Tygerberg Hospital and the Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital, as well as the medical fraternities that have brought life-changing surgeries to their patients.

“In a nutshell, our organisation is 19 years old this year and we work with 11 hospitals across the country,” he added.

During this year’s Smile Week, celebrated from this Monday until Friday, 20 children would undergo surgery at Tygerberg Academic Hospital.

The surgeries ranged from serial excision nevus (removal of skin lesions) to cranio remodelling (reshaping the bones of the skull).

The patients’ ages range from five months to 13 years.

Smile Week would be sponsored by the Adcock Ingram pharmaceutical company, which is committed to using some of its profits for the upliftment of South African children, said Lewis.

“I would like to pay tribute to doctor Alex Zulka for overseeing the Smile Week and dedicating his skills to children requiring reconstructive surgery,” he added.

The foundation plans to hold a press conference at the Tygerberg Academic Hospital on Tuesday, when it will provide more information about its plans for the surgeries and for its anniversary celebrations.