Imphal, Apr 18 : As part of the ongoing cleft week observation, an awareness programme for teachers on free corrective surgery for cleft lip and palate under Smile Train Shija Cleft Project was organised today at Shija Hospitals, Langol.
The programme was jointly organized by SSA, State Mission Authority, Manipur and Shija Hospitals.
Dr Kh Palin, CMD, Shija Hospitals said that The Smile Train is an NGO based in New York, USA which was launched in 1998 with the goal to eradicate the global problem of cleft lips and palates.
Cleft lip and palate are birth defects that affect the upper lip and roof of the mouth. Research reveals that 1 in 600 is born with cleft lip or cleft palate or both. Millions of children are suffering with unrepaired clefts in the developing countries. They cannot eat or speak properly and are not allowed to attend school or hold a job.
More than 1 million free corrective cleft surgeries have been performed all over the world under The Smile Train.
Shija Hospitals is also a partner hospital of The Smile Train and has been rendering free surgical treatment for cleft lip and palate under Smile Train Shija Cleft Project which was launched on June 10, 2006.
Smile Train Shija Cleft Project also ensures that its benefit reaches the masses of North East States of India and even Myanmar, Dr Palin said.
Mission Barak, Mission Nagaland and Mission Myanmar are some of the initiatives that have been undertaken till date. So far, more than 3500 free corrective surgeries have been performed in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Myanmar.
Apart from free corrective surgeries, additional services like free diagnostic facilities, hospital accommodation, speech therapy and travelling allowance up to a permissible limit are been provided.
Cleft lip and palate surgeries can be performed on patient who is 6 months and older though there is no upper age limit for the corrective surgery. Despite this, many children born with such birth defects have not availed this facility due to lack of awareness, he said.
With nearly 30 lakh population in Manipur, it is estimated that around 5000 people are suffering from such birth defects.
Dr Kh Palin appealed to all the teachers who attended the function to extend all possible help in disseminating the information about Smile Train Shija Cleft Project.
Source: The Sangai Express