Healthier Together: A path to a better world

Smile Train is proud to present "Healthier Together: A path to a better world." This video was produced for us and our partner KidsOR by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions — the BBC's award-winning content production studio — in consultation with the WHO Foundation.

Dr. Amos Zacharia Muzuka, a Smile Train partner anesthesiologist in Mbeya, Tanzania, is afraid of the dark. He’s not alone, and his fears are justified.

In an operating room, sudden darkness is a waking nightmare, and it’s one he and families across Africa are all too familiar with. Some hospitals experience hundreds of electrical outages each month, sometimes lasting for days at a time. When all goes black, in the blink of an eye, what should have been a second chance at life can turn into an unspeakable tragedy.

That is not acceptable.

So Smile Train and our partner Kids Operating Room (KidsOR) teamed up to do something about it.

Our solution is at once primordial and progressive: fitting operating rooms with solar-powered batteries, harnessing the limitless energy of the equatorial sun to sustain life in its most fragile state.

Since launching this initiative in the fall of 2022, we have already made power outages a thing of the past at four Smile Train partner ORs across the continent, with another 15 under construction. In all, we seek to upgrade more than 30 pediatric theaters across Africa with solar technology by 2025.

The difference it has already made in Mbeya is night and day.

Our Partnership with KidsOR

Kids Operating Room is a Scottish global health charity working to provide every child with access to safe surgery. Transforming hospital spaces into dedicated operating rooms for children’s surgery, KidsOR creates child-friendly surroundings and provides surgeons with the specialist equipment they need to care for their nation’s children. They also fund training for surgeons and anesthesia providers and work with national ministries of health to develop sustainable healthcare services.

Smile Train shares these goals, and in only our first three years of partnership, we have already increased safe pediatric surgery capacity for clefts and for all other surgical conditions around the globe.

This work could not be more urgent.

Smile Train and KidsOR’s Solar System Revolves around Patients and the Planet