New York, NY — In honor of International Women’s Day, we decided to focus the spotlight on two of our leading women in the field, surgeons Sister Dr. Najjuka Liliana Lucy Gerardine and Dr. Jyotsna Murthy. These two remarkable surgeons have dedicated their lives to giving others a second chance at life and are a constant inspiration to our Smile Train community.
Sister Dr. Najjuka Liliana Lucy Gerardine
A Smile Train partner since 2008, Sister Dr. Najjuka, based at Surgical Centre Smile Train Mbarara in Uganda, is a leading force in delivering cleft care throughout Africa. Sister Dr. Najjuka has provided over 650 Smile Train sponsored cleft surgeries on a continent where surgery is a male dominated field.
She is both student and teacher; never passing up an opportunity to improve her surgical skills and organizing cleft missions focused on teaching more local doctors, both men and women, throughout Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and all of East Africa. She is currently in Burundi teaching a perspective local surgeon the proper techniques to one day become a Smile Train partner.
Dr. Jyotsna Murthy
More than a decade after her first Smile Train surgery in 2001, Dr. Jyotsna Murthy MS, M Ch, DNB has provided over 5,000 free cleft lip and palate surgeries. Not to mention all of the surgeons that she has trained and instructed as a professor at Sri Ramachandra University and on countless medical/training missions, including Sister Dr. Najjuka.
Her generosity and compassion know no bounds as she has spearheaded numerous initiatives in India for surgical care and has been integral in Smile Train’s development of new local partners. She is dedicated to not only repairing clefts, but understanding them as well and is involved in many research projects on the psychosocial problems that can develop from unrepaired clefts and the genetic study of how clefts form.