DR. S.M. BALAJI IS THE WORLDCF’S VITAL PARTNER IN INDIA
The WorldCF is grateful for its close four-year affiliation with the Balaji Craniofacial Hospital in Chennai (formerly Madras) in southern India. Headed by internationally recognized surgeon Dr. S.M. Balaji, the hospital is staffed by ten craniomaxillofacial and oral surgeons, periodontists, orthodontists, and dentists and it is renowned throughout India. Dr. Balaji has more than twenty-eight years of surgical experience and has performed more than 20,000 surgeries during his career. He is the editor-in-chief of the Annals of Maxillofacial Surgery, executive editor of the Indian Journal of Dental Research, and is the author of The Textbook on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. Balaji was awarded the Professor David Precious Award, which was presented to him by Dr. Salyer in Leipzig, Germany at the twelfth World Cleft and Craniofacial Congress, which is the highest award of the International Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation.
As a WorldCF affiliated center, the hospital led by Dr. Balaji serves WorldCF patients from throughout India and nearby Asian countries. Four Indian patients are currently awaiting treatment in Chennai just as soon as it is safe for them to travel. One of them is eleven month old Dhwaj, who was born with a bilateral Tessier cleft just before the COVID-19 pandemic began to envelope the world. Dr. Salyer and medical director and neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Bruce will travel to Chennai as early in 2021 as they can to assist Dr. Balaji and his team with surgeries for Dhwaj and the three other patients.
Just as Drs. Salyer and Bruce do, Dr. Balaji and his team donate their services to our patients, yet travel, lodging, and many hospital services remain extremely expensive and most patient-families we serve are very poor. It is your help that makes surgery for Dhwaj and other children like him possible. And please help us continue our life-renewing work!