Avela Smile Partnership

Posted: Feb 15, 2017

Smile Foundation & Avela Foundation Partnership introduces state-of-the-art Laser Technology for children with Burn Scars – A first in Africa

Africa’s first ground breaking state-of-the-art laser equipment has been introduced to assist paediatric burn survivors at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, an initiative that will revolutionise the healing process.

The Lumenis UltraPulse CO2 Laser was presented this morning at the hospital, with the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, as the keynote speaker.

In an effort to improve the renowned burn unit at the hospital, the Smile- and Avela Foundation teamed up to buy the Lumenis UltraPulse CO2 with the generous support of Avela Foundation donors. This is the first machine in the country dedicated to treat children from all over Africa for paediatric burns.

“This first of its kind machine in South Africa is what makes us stand-out from the rest. At the Western Cape Department of Health, we are ground breakers that are not satisfied with the status quo. Thanks to the Smile and Avela foundations we will now be able to treat paediatric burns on our little patients;” said Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Minister of Health.

New advances in laser technologies have brought the possibilities to bring about major improvements in the mobility and skin scars caused by burns wounds. In laymen’s terms, the laser enters the skin tissue and stimulates new growth resulting in a smoother skin. The laser device is used in cutting-edge fractional laser treatment – the new, effective way to improve the disfigurement, pain and stiffness of burns scars. Mobility is a very difficult rehabilitation of burn scars and the UP laser can change this.

Childhood burns are traumatic on their own, but it is widely recognised that children who survive severe burns, often suffer from lifelong problems stemming from their deep-tissue scarring. The laser technology by treating their scars, these children have renewed hope for rehabilitation, which will result in an improved quality of life.

“The hospital is very appreciative of this collaboration with the Smile Foundation as the relationship has enabled us to augment our ability to provide an excellent service for our burns patients. A huge thank you to the Avela Foundation who partnered with the Smile Foundation to make this donation possible,” says Dr Anita Parbhoo, Medical Manager at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Western Cape Government Health.

Founded with the vision of implementing sustainable positive changes in local communities and their hospitals, the Smile Foundation partnered with the Avela Foundation – an NGO that is passionate about helping children with burn injuries. The Avela Foundation works with young burn survivors every day, assisting them on the road to physical and psychological recovery.

Hedley Lewis, Executive Director of Smile Foundation and Cami Palomo of Avela Foundation, said that the donation of the Lumenis UltraPulse CO2 Laser to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital will significantly enhance the burns unit in its quest to be a centre of excellence for Africa.

Lewis explains, “Through this partnership with Avela, the plastic and reconstructive team at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital will now be able to help even more children. The hospital is renowned for its pioneering and ground-breaking paediatric research and treatment, and the inclusion of fractional laser treatment significantly further this objective”..

The Lumenis UltraPulse CO₂ Laser with unique Synergistic Coagulation and Ablation for Advanced Resurfacing (SCAAR) delivers a unique combination of short pulse durations and high energy per pulse, which together enables deep, precise, and effective treatment of deep-tissue scarring. The laser was designed to substantially improve the structure of deep contracted skin lesions, such as surgical scars, leading to a vastly improved range of motion in these areas, as well as enhanced facial and skin appearance.   

Founder of the Avela Foundation, Cami Palomo, says: “Hi-tech Lasers,  the South African supplier of this specialised laser equipment, stepped up to support this initiative with a massive discount. They really went above and beyond in order to make this dream a reality, and we are so grateful for their generous assistance. Without hi-tech Laser’s help and the generous contributions of our donors, this project could have never come to life.”

“Smile Foundation and Avela Foundation have a common goal with regards to assisting children who have suffered severe burns and in helping to augment the sterling work of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. It was only natural that the two organisations partnered to make this latest initiative happen, and we are privileged to have been a part of it,” concludes Lewis.

Managing director of the Hitech Group, Mr. Wicus Olivier, said the Hitech Group feels privileged to be a contributor to this worthy project.  “Burn and acid attack trauma survivors have possibly the most painful injuries and the most complex recovery in all of medicine.   We are convinced that Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital can in future give hope and offer new ways to restore the bodies of survivors with disfigurement and life-altering scars.  The Lumenis UltraPulse CO2 laser is the most advanced and powerful CO2 multi-disciplinary laser that has revolutionized existing methods of scar treatments, aesthetic and surgical procedures.    UltraPulse not only improves skin texture and pigment, appearance of scars but also restores mobility and functionality of scared areas. “

Lumenis Ltd. and the Hitech Group have been involved in several educational sessions in South Africa, providing pro-bono treatments for scar patients and train physicians on laser scar revision using the UltraPulse technology.   

Dr. Saleigh Adams, comment: “The acquisition of this hi-tech, state-of-the-art piece of equipment will once again bring Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital on par with the way scar rehabilitation has progressed in the ‘developed world.’ It brings new hope and is a major addition to our existing armaments against major burns which is currently still on the increase in our country. Our preliminary cases first performed a year ago with a loan machine showed excellent results.


We’re About Putting Smiles on the Faces of Children in South Africa!

The Smile Foundation is a South African NGO that assists children with any type of facial condition to receive free corrective Plastic and Reconstructive surgery within South Africa. We help children who suffer from treatable facial anomalies such as cleft lip and palate, burn survivors, Mobius syndrome (facial paralysis) and other conditions. We are currently based in 7 Academic Hospitals around South Africa. We invest in the medical teams we work with, through a Skills Development programme, and we assist the hospitals by purchasing equipment for use by the Departments of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Our Chief Patron, the late Nelson Mandela’s wish was for us to assist as many children around South Africa as possible to alleviate the stigma attached to living with a facial condition. For more information, contact the Smile Foundation on www.smilefoundation.co.za or 0861 276 453. Make a donation today! Help put a smile on a child’s face today! SMS “Smile” to 38413 to donate R10.


The Avela Foundation is a non-profit organisation that helps children with burn injuries on their road to physical and psychological recovery. Our foundation was inspired by a brave young girl who showed tremendous courage in the face of adversity. We embody her spirit and seek to provide each child that passes through our doors with the attention and care that they deserve. Children are magnificent, vibrant, and full of life. But sometimes life doesn’t treat them kindly and that’s when we come in – by giving them hope through love and support. We do everything in our power to make their lives easier and help them reach their true potential. Find out how you can support us by visiting our website.

For information contact the Avela Foundation
Website: http://www.avelafoundation.com
call: +27 0727331750.
Make a donation today!


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