As mothers, one of the greatest fears we have during pregnancy is not giving birth to the “perfect” and “normal” child.
Cleft lip and palate are conditions in which the two plates of the skull that form roof of the mouth are not completely joined.
Causes of Cleft Lips & Palates:
- These malformations occur between the 6th and 10th weeks of pregnancy
- Risk factors include:
- Mother’s malnutrition & other medical conditions (folic acid deficiency)
- Mother’s age (older than 40)
- Mothers who smoke (increased by 26%)
- Taking certain medications during pregnancy
Most scientists believe clefts are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors
A cleft lip may require one or two surgeries depending on the extent of the repair needed. The initial surgery is usually performed by the time a baby is 3 months old.
But what about families that can’t afford surgeries?
The incidence of cleft deformities in Lebanon is 1 in 440 births.
Lebanon is one of the countries with the highest incidence of cleft cases in the world including Lebanese and non-Lebanese births.
Global Smile Foundation (GSF) was formed in 2008 as a Massachusetts not-for-profit corporation.
In 2014, GSF established an organization in Lebanon to extend its mission across Lebanon and the MENA region. GSF-MENA will have operated on over 300 patients by the end of 2016.
Join the Global Smile Foundation’s quest to bring back smiles to children and their families – raising awareness, volunteering and supporting families – check out more on http://www.gsf-mena.org/
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