KBZ Bank’s Cleft Mission with Smile Asia

KBZ Bank


The main objective of KBZ Bank’s Cleft Mission with Smile Asia was created to reduce the number of children with the pressing condition of cleft lip in Myanmar through sponsored surgeries.

One in 500 children in Myanmar today have cleft lip or cleft palate. Approximately 2,000 children are born with the condition each year, with as much as 50,000 children across Myanmar yet to receive treatment. Assuming that the mortality rate and the number of babies receiving treatment from local hospitals and other similar organisations account for 50% of the newborn population, KBZ Bank’s mission is to build capacity to provide treatment for about 1,000 babies born with facial deformities each year through medical missions and other interventions.


Under the provision of Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar, KBZ Bank has been leading Cleft Mission with surgical support of Smile Asia Medical Mission since 2016. KBZ Bank and Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation (BFM), the philanthropic arm of KBZ Bank provides the funding necessary to support travelling expenses, accommodation and food for patients and their guardians, while the Smile Asia Medical Mission mobilises surgeons and medical support. Each mission is carried out over a period of seven days by 120 staff volunteers across Yangon and Taunggyi.

Each Cleft Mission involves teams of 120 staff volunteers, including experienced medical professionals, doctors, nurses and caregivers from over 20 countries who have volunteered as part of the Smile Asia medical team. Patients learn about the mission through BFM’s wide outreach efforts via social media such as Facebook, volunteer networks, TV channels, FM radios and other transitional media. These patients come from all over Myanmar, with most of them from remote areas throughout the seven states and regions of Myanmar, and are given transportation, food, and lodging, and other forms of support throughout each mission.

In order to assess and ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of each patient, a postoperative evaluation day is held where local surgeons and nurses give instructions on postoperative care and prescribe additional medications. KBZ Bank is pleased to have made this possible together with the support of Smile Asia. Through these missions, KBZ Bank has also been able to build awareness of children living with this condition and inspire local communities to lend their encouragement and support for these children.


To date, KBZ Bank has proudly completed six successful missions, including the recent mission to Taunggyi, Shan State in March 2019, which saw 61 children receive corrective surgery. Since 2016, the Bank’s support and partnership with Smile Asia has enabled more than 500 children across Myanmar to undergo cleft lip or palate surgery. With a new smile and the improved ability to eat and speak, KBZ Bank has given each child a new lease of confidence and stronger health, giving them the same opportunities every child deserves to develop, succeed, and contribute to society.

In addition, there are about 100,000 people with facial deformities in Myanmar out of the current population. Taking into account the mortality rate and the number of patients who have already and will be receiving treatment from other similar avenues, there will still be an estimated backlog of 35,000 people with facial deformities. Having said that, KBZ Bank and Smile Asia are currently working on expanding their reach to serve these untreated patients over the next five years.


The successful partnership between KBZ Bank and Smile Asian since 2016 has contributed to the continuity of Cleft Mission thus far. And there are two upcoming missions in August and November of 2019, which will be the 7th and 8th Clef Missions in Yangon and Naypyitaw respectively.
KBZ Bank is Myanmar’s largest privately-owned bank, with over 500 branches. Headquartered in Yangon, Myanmar, KBZ Bank’s vision is to improve the quality of life in Myanmar through banking. The Bank presently accounts for approximately 40% market share of both retail and commercial banking in the country.