Belo Changes Lives Medical Mission | Belo Medical Group

Belo Medical Group Changes Lives Through Operation Smile

By Ysabel Vitangcol on March 14, 2018

The smiles you get are priceless when beauty, compassion, and heart come together.

Belo CSR

Fast facts: In the Philippines, an estimated 4,500 children are born every year with this congenital anomaly. “A cleft lip is where the lip fails to fuse at the midline, and can extend to the nasal floor or nasal opening,” Dr. Lutgardo Caparas, Jr., Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon for the Belo Medical Group. A cleft palate, on the other hand, is what happens when the palate or the roof of the mouth contains an opening into the nose, and may also involve one or both sides of the mouth. Both are considered birth defects, and it can make it difficult for a child to eat and talk properly, cause hearing problems, and lead to frequent ear infections.

Dr. Vicki Belo carrying a baby with cleft condition

“Children with a cleft lip or palate are often bullied or seen as different by their peers,” say Dr. Vicki Belo. As a result, their self-esteem also takes a hit.

Bring back the smiles

In celebration of Belo’s 25th anniversary last 2015, the company launched a medical mission with the goal of helping children with cleft conditions by giving them free cleft lip repair and cleft palate surgeries. A cleft lip or palate can be successfully treated with surgery, and this is often done in the first few months of life. The program’s success prompted the Belo group to do a repeat this year, this time in partnership with Operation Smile Philippines.

Dr. Vicki Belo with Gian Trebol and Bobby Manzano of Operation Smile Philiipines

Dr. Vicki Belo consults with Gian Trebol and Bobby Manzano of Operation Smile Philiipines, about the mission.

Aptly called “Belo: Going the extra sMILE,” the project was carried out last June 26 to 28 at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila. Dr. Vicki Belo and husband Dr. Hayden Kho, along with Cristalle Belo-Pitt and husband Justin Pitt, were there, as well as Belo endorsers Rhian Ramos, Yeng Constantino, and Robi Domingo. Even Scarlet Snow Belo was present to spread smiles! The medical mission was headed by Belo surgeons Dr. Caparas and Dr. Alcantara.

Changing Lives

“More than for vanity purposes, we were able to help give these children confidence and transform their lives,” says Dr. Belo, adding that the parents and family of the children were beyond happy, too. After having been successfully treated, the kids are now able to live normal lives—and smile normally, too.

Clearly, not all cosmetic surgeries are simply about vanity. “One of our company’s advocacies is to transform lives beyond beauty by reaching out and giving back to the community,” says Dr. Belo. For sure, we can expect more meaningful projects like this from the Belo Medical Group in the future.

Ania De Paula before after Belo Smiles Beneficiary

Rodgie Quillo before after Belo Smiles Beneficiary

Princess Armenion before after Belo Smiles Beneficiary

Joneil Gojar before after Belo Smiles Beneficiary

If you know anyone with cleft condition, contact Operation Smile
(02) 811-9737 to 40

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