7 April 2021: World Health Day

07 April 2021

7 April 2021: World Health Day


"The Smile of the Child" turns the message of WHO for a fairer and healthier world for everyone from theory into action: In its 25 years of operation the Organization has provided equal access to health services to 268.979 children and their families


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"The Smile of the Child” has been fighting for a health system that will ensure equal access to health services for every child and its family in Greece in its 25 years of operation. Since its founding, the Organization has supported 268.979 children and their families holistically and individually through an integrated network of Health and Social/Advisory services, which are provided free of charge, nationwide, daily, on a 24/7 basis to all children in Greece, regardless of nationality or any other criterion.

April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day. Since its inception the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization. This year, a critical year globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO sets as the theme of its campaign: "Let’s build a fairer, healthier world for everyone" highlighting the urgent need to ensure equal access to quality healthcare services for all.

The Health Services Network of the Organization includes the following:

Social and counselling services to every child with a health problem. Since the beginning of the action (1995) until today, 12.035 children have been supported through social and advisory services, such as medical and pharmaceutical coverage, mobilization of volunteer blood - platelet donors, etc.

Transfers of New-borns and Children; "The Smile of the Child" acquired Mobile Neonatal Intensive Care Units equipped with incubators. The Organization carries out transfers nationwide, and in some cases even outside Greece. The Units are set at the disposal of the National Emergency Aid Centre (EKAV). Eight units are spread out in major cities all over Greece, Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Lesvos, which are certified by EU and staffed by specialized rescuers certified by the National Emergency Aid Centre (EKAV). Since the launch of this service in 1997, 25.426 new-borns and children have been supported.

Creative Employment in Hospitals; The Organization actively stands next to every child who for long or shorter periods of time have to remain in hospital. The action is implemented in Pediatric hospitals. Since the launch of this initiative in 1999, 85.213 children have been supported.

Preventive Medicine and Dentistry; The Organization conducts preventive medical and dental examinations on all children with emphasis on those who live in remote areas, do not have access to medical centers, experience social exclusion, or due to economic / other difficulties do not enjoy proper medical supervision and care. The initiative is carried out in four mobile units: the "Hippocrates" Polyclinic (Audiological, Cardiological, Pediatric, Ophthalmological, Dental care), the mobile unit of Preventive Dentistry and Medicine for children, the mobile Diagnostic Ophthalmological and Audiological unit of Preventive Medicine for children, as well as the new mobile Polyclinic "Asclepios". Since the start of this initiative in 2002, 144.584 children have been supported.

Providing accommodation to Families; "The smile of the Child" provides hospitality to families with children who face serious health problems, living either outside Athens or outside Thessaloniki.  These children are hospitalized with chronic diseases for a long time in hospitals in Attica or in hospitals in Thessaloniki. Help comes from educators, social workers and psychologists. Since the beginning of the action in 2016, 15 families have been supported.

Pediatric Home Care; "The Smile of the Child" implements the Pediatric Home Care program, aimed at children suffering from chronic and serious health problems. A specialized health team performs visits to sick children homes to provide medical and nursing care - under the guidance of the treating doctors and the Directors of Clinics of Pediatric Hospitals - social and psychological support for children with health problems and their families, creative activities for children at home. Since the beginning of the initiative in 2017, 1.296 children have been supported.

Social Polyclinic; After getting licensed by the Medical Association of Athens, "The Smile of the Child" opened a social Polyclinic in the center of Athens in 2019, in which the following clinics operate: Pediatric, Ophthalmological and Otolaryngological. Since the beginning of the action, 410 children have been supported. In addition, the Organization will soon put into operation a Social Polyclinic in Agia Paraskevi, including Pediatric, Ophthalmological, ENT dispensary and Dental offices. The clinics will operate with the respective specialists and will be staffed with volunteer doctors and nurses.

Voluntary Blood Donation; In the rather adverse conditions of the health crisis "The Smile of the Child" designed and implemented Voluntary Blood Donation programs in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, to directly support children and adults in need of blood. The actions take place in the mobile unit of the Organization "Odysseas", and include:

  • The innovative program "Live with sports" of the General Secretariat of Sports in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. Since its launch in April 2020, we have visited 32 spots and collected 1.643 blood bags.
  • Actions in the regions of northern Greece in cooperation with public authorities, in the framework of the project "Integrated Synergies for Health and Child Protection II (Integrated Territorial Synergies for Children Health and Protection II) - INTERSYC II»
  • Extraordinary nationwide voluntary blood donation actions in response to relevant requests from municipalities and public hospitals all over Greece
  • Voluntary Blood Donation actions “Weekends of Life” (8 days) with the valuable support of the company “Teleperformance Greece” (Apr.- June 2021)

For more information please contact;
"The Smile of the Child»
Press Department
Tel 0030 210 3306140