Mahatma Gandhi Mission`s Dental College & Hospital

MGM Cleft and Craniofacial Center in association with Maaya Foundation


  • A cleft and Craniofacial Surgery unit was started at MGM Hospital, Kamothe in partnership with Maaya Foundation and MGM Institute of Health Sciences (MGMIHS) in order to cater to the large patient population of Rural areas adjoining Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, who are not able to access these facilities easily.
  • The Project was possible due to generous funding from TATA Trust.
  • MOU between MGMIHS and Maaya Foundation was signed in September 2015 and the first case was operated on 3rd September 2015.
  • Till Date 100 patients have undergone successful surgeries, completely free of cost

Aims and Objectives:

  • To identify and mobilize all patients born with Cleft and Craniofacial Deformities to MGMIHS.
  • To carry out educational programs in order to create awareness about the above mentioned deformities, with emphasis on preventive aspects to expecting mothers.
  • To do high quality research in this field to find new preventive and treatment strategies.
  • To provide patients with specialist consultation in the fields of Surgery, Anaesthesia, Paediatrics, ENT; all free of cost.
  • To provide all patients with comprehensive services like Dentistry, Nutrition, Speech Therapy and Orthodontics; all free of cost.
  • To make the center sustainable and to take care of the huge burden of care, training facilities for Surgeons and Anaesthesiologist from across the globe will be launched, especially to build skilled human resource in areas of great need.

Facilities provided at MGMIHS:

  • All the below facilities are offered to the patients completely free of cost.
  • To and Fro transportation fares as per the state transport department for patient and parent.
  • Lodging and food to patient and one parent if patient above 5 years’ age and two parents if below 5 years of age, in general wards.
  • Free surgery including all the medicines, surgical materials and Operating room charges.
  • Comprehensive care which includes Dental and Orthodontic treatment, Nutritional counselling for malnourished infants, Speech therapy sessions for all cleft palate patients.
  • Other incidentals like Paediatric Intensive care unit, Blood Bank, etc.

Programs conducted for Awareness and Training:

1. Out Reach screening Camps

A screening camp was organized by Inga Health Foundation and IMA in association with Operation Smile Inc. USA and MGM Institute of health Sciences, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai for children and adults suffering from Cleft lip palate and other congenital facial anomalies on 31st July 2016 at Jede Bhagat Hospital, Baramati. During this camp, 35 patients were screened by Dr Gaurav Deshpande( Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon )  with Aasis Banerjee ( Patient Recruitment Manager ) Inga Health Foundation,  Mumbai. During this program the first citizen of Baramati, Yogesh Jagtap, President Elec of IMA, Maharashtra State, Dr Ashok Tambe, President of Baramati branch, Dr Dhopade, along with other dignitaries from IMA were present. The patients that were selected by the doctors, traveled to MGM Hospital Navi Mumbai and  received necessary corrective Surgery free of cost. The patients were brought to the hospital in batches of people living in nearby villages for convenience and safety. The patients were also entitled to comprehensive care like Dental, Orthodontic corrections, Speech therapy and nutrition as per the need. We look forward to many more such initiatives with the help of IMA, Maharashtra state branch to reach out to more underprivileged children of the state

2. American Heart Association - AHA Certification Courses

American Heart Association - AHA Certification courses (PALS & BLS) for Medical and Dental Team of MAAYA FOUNDATION Cleft and Craniofacial program at MGM Dental College and Hospital. We thank all the AHA trainers for their valuable time and congratulate all participants for successfully completing PALS & BLS courses and adding quality to our Cleft and craniofacial Program.

PALS: Pediatric advance life support

BLS: Basic Advance Life Support

Kudos to Operation Smile for taking this program to next level

3. Training ASHA workers

  • On 22nd August 2015, 300 ASHA (Accredited Social Health Care Activist) were invited to MGMIHS as a part of awareness campaign under the Cleft center from Panvel Taluka.
  • The aim of this meeting was to provide them information about identification, characteristics and mobilisation of cleft lip palate and craniofacial patients.
  • Along with this, the importance of Comprehensive services was explained as the treatment is incomplete without the completer rehabilitation of these patients.
  • Also, various other important topics were covered as importance of breast feeding, Safe delivery, and breast and cervical cancer.
  • The ASHA workers were offered free of cost screening for cervical cancer with PAP smear and also a dental check-up was done.
  • Informative pamphlets were distributed to all during this program.

4. Visit by Education Department, Operation Smile Inc. and TATA Trust representative
  • On 2nd December, 2015, representatives from Operation Smile Inc’s education department visited MGMIHS to inspect the facility. The objective is to start educational activities as fellowships for Surgeons and Anaesthesiologist from resource poor countries.
  • On the same day, a Continuing Dental Education (CDE) program was organised for the staff and students of Medical and Dental Faculty on various topics of Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery.
  • Dr Alexander Campbell, Plastic surgeon from USA and Dr Krishna Shama Rao, Medical Director of Maaya Foundation Bangalore spoke on various cleft and craniofacial surgery topics.
  • More than 100 students and staff participated in the program.
  • Also, MGMIHS will be one of the center to conduct American Heart Association’s Programs like Basic Life Support (BLS), Paediatric Advanced life support (PALS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), to train students and doctors in life saving maneuvers.
  • The first batch is expected to start in April- May 2016

5. Mega follow up

  • On 4th January 2016, a mega follow up camp was organised to record the healing and progress of all the operated patients.
  • During this session, the parents and patients were educated about adequate pre and post-operative care and were reminded about future surgeries if required.
  • They were given small gifts as good will gesture and to motivate them to follow the post -operative care.

6. 2nd MEGA FOLLOWUP - Following the SMILES !


Mega follow up of our lovely patients. We thank all our patients for believing in us . The turn out for follow-ups was exceptional. Also, it feels great to talk to new patients who have started walking - in by a very positive word of mouth.

During this follow up event, we could track the progress of the patients after surgery. Thorough counseling was done to all patients on maintaining the wound area. Also our wonderful interns helped to give a demo on the best brushing techniques to keep oral cavity clean. We could also give them small Diwali gifts, which all them loved, courtesy to Inga Health Foundation. All operated palate patients were seen by our speech Pathologist and recordings were done for comparison and research purpose. She also advised them with home based speech therapy. We are very confident that all these measures bring us close to our patients and help us to make them a part of our family

7. Speech Therapy Sessions and Training
  • Ms Alla Sorokin, a noted speech language pathologist from Quebec, Canada visited MGMIHS for a week from 19-26 February 2016.
  • During this period, all operated cleft palate patients were recalled and were given free evaluations and therapy.
  • Also, the in house speech therapist underwent training for the specific therapy of cleft palate patients.
  • The progress of each patient was noted and home based therapy was advised.

8. Education Visit by Dr Usama Hamdan, President of Global Smile Foundation.

  • On 20th February 2016, Dr Usama Hamdan, who is an Otolaryngologist from Harvard, USA and also President of cleft charity, Global Smile Foundation (GSF) visited MGMIHS.
  • A CME was organized on Virtually augmented surgery, where Dr Hamdan, explained the use of advanced technology for better patient services and training of surgeons in remote areas.
  • He presented his organization’s experience using ‘Google Glass’ for outreach surgery and training.
  • He has proposed MGMIHS to be one site for the use of this technology for cleft care.

Future Plans for Program:

  • To set up a recruitment team for effective identification and mobilisation of patients, w.e.f 1 st March 2016
  • Since these patients are located mostly in remote, inaccessible areas, support from Govt. health machinery to locate patients.
  • To start fellowship program in surgical training for Indian and International Surgeons.

Future plans for Financial progress:

  • To increase the surgical capacity to 25-35 patients per month.
  • To increase the capacity in Maxillofacial cases to 2-3 per month.
  • To start operating Craniofacial Cases, with an aim to conduct 2-5 cases in the first year.

Center Administrators:

  • Dr Gaurav Deshpande and Dr Rasika Jagtap Deshpande are managing the medical and administrative responsibilities.
  • Dr Gaurav is a Maxillofacial Surgeon and Dr Rasika is a Periodontist by qualification.
  • Both have worked at an exclusive cleft center, Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care center in the state of Assam for approximately 4 years.
  • Both have extensive experience in management and administration on cleft lip palate center.

New update:

1. We are 100 plus smiles

It brings us immense pleasure to celebrate this very important milestone with you all. 100 smiles completed! Let's call it a Smilestone! This is only a stepping stone for the bigger dreams that will follow. But, the most important reason for its success is the team work that we all have shown towards this project. We are so glad that everyone considered this project as their own baby and worked together to make it a grand success. Each and every member of this comprehensive team was important in completing this achievement. Also Big thank you to all our patients who believed in us and trusted us with their treatment, without their support and love this was not possible.

I hope we all can keep walking, holding our hands together and changing lives of many more underprivileged kids and their families. I hope we can keep this team spirit up and keep spreading smiles! Cheers to 100 and many more to come.

2. We have Completed 51 Cleft Lip and Palate

A small story of our 50th case :

Gunjan a three day old baby was brought to the Cleft and Craniofacial  unit at MGM  Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai  for treatment of cleft lip and palate by her parents.  Gunjan was the lucky child who was brought to the Cleft care at the right time to get the treatment at right age. The patient was a perfect candidate for NAM (Nasoalveolar moulding) which is carried out prior to the surgery till the age of 6months for better esthetic  results. Unfortunately, the parents could not spare time to follow up regularly which is required  for the conventional NAM technique. So, an unconventional NAM technique of just lip taping and Nasal hook was carried out.  We could get significant results with this procedure and the patient was ready for the surgery.  The surgery went on uneventfully and Gunjan is ready with her new smile!!! We wish Gunjan all the very best. She will be treated for cleft palate at age of 1year.  THANK YOU TEAM FOR SPREADING





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