Children born to low-income families are more likely to have cleft lips or palates
VICTORIA HOSPITAL in Yangon will offer surgeries to people with cleft lips and palates this month, said Professor U Soe Tin, the hospital’s chief executive advisor.
Around 100patients will receive treatment at the hospital between 27 October and 6 November. The hospital will also offer free screening services to cleft lip and palate patients starting today.
The free surgery programme was organised by the Victoria Health Support Foundation in cooperation with the American non-profit organisation Alliance for Smiles with the aim of reducing the treatment gap and offering better future to patients.
This is the third time the programme has been conducted by the two organisations, and there are plans to continue providing free surgical services in the coming years, one organiser said.
Cleft lip and palate is the most common birth defect. The diseases are congenital defects, affecting one in 700 people. More than 170,000 children worldwide are born with cleft lips, palates or both each year. The condition causes difficulty in eating, breathing and speaking.
At least 6,000 children are born with cleft lips or cleft palates in Myanmar every year, according to data based on records from the Central Women’s Hospital.
Children born to low-income families are more likely to have the disease, a surgeon said.
“Although local and overseas charitable organisations carry out free surgeries in the country, the treatment gap for cleft lips and palates is still high.”