Between 6,000 and 8,000 children in Myanmar are born with cleft lip, palate or both each year
MORE than 100 children and youths will receive cleft lip and palate repair surgeries free of charge in late December in Bagan, Mandalay Region.
About 140 patients have already registered for the treatment, most of whom are from dry regions such as Monywa, Bagan, Pakokku and Yenangyaung.
Funded by a local family, the operations will be performed by a German medical team between 26 December and 6 January at the Bagan-Nyaung U District Hospital, with plans to conduct the programme every two years.
U Win Win, a member of the donor family, said: “This is the 22nd time our family, in cooperation with German surgical experts, has organised the programme since 1996. The programme aims to create better future for patients with congenital cleft lip and cleft palate.”
“Our programme is also aimed at narrowing the treatment gap among people with is condition,” he told The Global New Light of Myanmar. “We have helped more than 4,000 patients receive cleft lip and palate repair surgery so far.”
Cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital defects affecting one in 700 people. More than 170,000 children worldwide are born with cleft lip, palate or both each year. The condition causes difficulties in eating, breathing and speaking.
According to data collected by the Central Women’s Hospital, between 6,000 and 8,000 children in the country are born with cleft lip and cleft palate every year, said Dr Thiha Myint Wei.
“The treatment gap in cleft lip and palate is still high as there are not enough centres to cope with the birth rate of those patients,” he said. “The disease is commonly found in children from families with low socioeconomic status, mostly from the country’s remote areas.”
People seeking to register for cleft lip or cleft palate surgery may contact 09 403 715 743 or 09 204 2463.