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Aster brings smile to children with cleft lip
Bengaluru: CMI Hospital as a part of Aster Volunteers initiative in association with Love Without Reason foundation has conducted more than 100 free...
Bengaluru: CMI Hospital as a part of Aster Volunteers initiative in association with Love Without Reason foundation has conducted more than 100 free surgeries to bring a lasting 'smile' to the families of cleft patients.
During the pandemic, paediatric team at Aster CMI hospital performed around 15 free cleft surgeries. It also set up free health camps with the help of local doctors at various remote locations and villages to increase awareness about this procedure and encourage more families to come forward and benefit from this treatment.
For close to five years now, Aster CMI Hospital in partnership with LWR foundation has been continuously working towards the cause of providing free cleft surgeries to underprivileged children. The aim of this initiative is to ensure that children who visit the hospital with a cleft lip or cleft palate, are operated upon free of charge. Since then, the surgeons at the hospital have conducted more than 100 reconstructive surgeries on children born with such deformities.
In India, more than 35,000 babies are born every year with cleft lips or palates and almost one baby in every 350 live births has a cleft lip or palate. Many such children continue to live and suffer from this treatable condition due to lack of awareness, access to proper medical care and financial assistance. There are numerous challenges which these children face, such as their inability to breastfeed or feed on a normal bottle because they cannot form a good seal with their mouth, increased risk of tooth decay and rise in speech problems as the child gets older. These challenges can continue to persist among the affected children if the surgeries are not performed on time. The delay in treatment can also lead to ear infections among children and the cleft lift may also affect their hearing.
Emphasizing the need to spread awareness on cleft and palate surgeries, Dr. Sathish M S Vasishta, Consultant – Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, Aster CMI Hospital said: "Due to the lack of awareness about this simple procedure, many at times, a simple defect like a cleft often goes untreated and such children continue to live with a cleft lip or cleft palate. Furthermore, due to the several ill-conceived notions around the cost of the treatment and societal repercussions, most of the cleft patients, especially girls, are abandoned at birth. However, parents of children with cleft lip must understand that a cleft is a mere barrier to a child's smile, which once removed, allows a child to have a full and rich life with access to myriad opportunities."
Thanking the hospital for the initiative, Riyaz Pasha, father of Moinuddin, who recently underwent a cleft lip and cleft palate surgery at the hospital said: "Our child was born with split in the upper lip and palate. Breast feeding him or feeding him through a milk bottle was a challenge for us.
Since the lockdown was implemented, we were unable to visit a doctor due to lack of safe transport facilities and had no access to OPD consultations for our child. We were facing several difficulties in taking care of our child and this is when we approached Aster CMI hospital for support. At the hospital, the doctors informed us about the free cleft surgery treatment which was being provided by Aster CMI and they agreed to treat our child under this initiative. This was the biggest help that anyone could have offered us.
It has been 3 months since the surgery and the baby is feeding on well.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Aster for undertaking this initiative and would like to thank the doctors for giving our child a new smile."