Excitement as 32 Children Gets Free Cleft Lip Surgery

1276 Views Kaberamaido, Uganda

In short
Sarah Akomo, a mother of a seven month old baby from Lira district who also benefited from the medical camp, says nobody in her community wanted to associate with her child because of the birthday defect.

32 children with cleft lips have received free surgery at Kaberamadio Health Center IV. They were operated by a team of four medical doctors from Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.



 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cleft lip is a birth defect that occurs when the tissue forming the roof of the mouth does not form properly.

 
It is caused by lack of nutritional materials in the body of an expectant mother emanating from poor eating within the first three months of pregnancy.
 

Dr. Francis Ekwan, the principal occupational Therapist at Mulago National Referral Hospital, who is part of the team, says statistics show that cleft lip is the most common birth defect in Uganda.
 

He says one out of every 1000 children in Uganda is born with cleft lips, which requires about Shillings 3 million for surgery. 



Dr. Godfrey Balengera, the Kaberamaido District Health Officer, says communities in the area usually ignore reporting cases of children with cleft lips especially those born outside health facilities.
 
 
He cautions residents against associating cleft lips with witchcraft. Rose Akello, a resident of Majengo A village in Kaberamaido town council is excited that her one year and four months old baby benefited from the free surgery.
 
 
According to Akello, her baby has been facing stigma since many people associate the condition with witchcraft. 



Sarah Akomo, a mother of a seven month old baby from Lira district who also benefited from the medical camp, says nobody in her community wanted to associate with her child because of the birthday defect.



 
Akomo is happy that she will be able to concentrate on making money since will get more time. The same team camped at Lira Regional Referral Hospital two weeks ago and operated 38 children with cleft lip.