Smart helps bring smile to negros cleft patients

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CLEFT patients in Dumaguete City recently received assistance from Operation Smile Philippines and employees of Smart Communications Inc., the wireless unit of PLDT.

At the medical mission conducted by Operation Smile in Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital to treat cleft patients for free, sales and engineering employees of Smart helped out in gathering patient information by using the OSP patient mapper app.

Steve John S. Nacua, consumer development manager for Dumaguete, Negros Occidental North and Siquijor, is no stranger to volunteer work. He has been with Smart for almost 17 years, and has joined several relief, bloodletting and tree-planting activities with the company.

Developed through the initiative of Smart, the OSP mapper app enables the user to securely store patient data, which is used by Operation Smile to generate a heat map of patients and efficiently plan succeeding missions. The app is available as a free download for Android and iOS devices.

Joining the mission were Smart sales managers Art Lamayo Jr. and Steve John Nacua, together with engineer Anthony Sherwin Cal. 

For Lamayo, area development manager, and Nacua, consumer development manager, volunteering for a worthy cause is part of being a Smart employee. 

“It’s good to be able to help other people, especially children,” Lamayo said, adding it’s also a good opportunity to get to know subscribers better. “It’s also connected to our work since some of the patients are also our subscibers,” he added. 

Anthony Sherwin L. Cal, senior wireless access and transport engineer at technical operations center, has been with Smart for 15 years now. He says the Operation Smile app is easy to use and he is encouraging co-employees to download it and join succeeding missions as well.

Lamayo likewise expressed appreciation for the app and encouraged other people to help Operation Smile get more patients by volunteering and using the program. “Volunteers may use it; for instance, if they’re at a mall and spot someone with cleft, they can encode the patient information immediately and let the patient know how Operation Smile can help them,” he said.

Cal, senior wireless access and transport engineer at technical operations center, also lauded the app for its offline capabilities. “It’s a powerful tool because it can be used even if there’s no internet,” he said, adding it’s good especially for patients in areas with limited connectivity.

Since the organization’s launch in 1982, more than 31,000 lives have been changed by Operation Smile in the Philippines. This year alone, around 900 beneficiaries have been treated, while more than 600 patients have been encoded in the app.

With its 35th anniversary campaign #UntilWeHeal, Operation Smile hopes to eradicate the backlog of cleft incidents in the Philippines. Smart, for its part, seeks to advance healthcare by collaborating with institutions and enhancing programs using technology. 

Smart subscribers may donate to Operation Smile Philippines by texting SMILE (space) (amount) to 4483. 

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