Children from all over the country with mouth deformities known as cleft lip and cleft palate will undergo surgery to correct their condition, the Ministry of Health, announced yesterday.
The Director General of the Health Communication Centre, Gamaliel Binamungu explained that the operations are sponsored by Operation Smile, a South African non-profit organization.
“Our call to all parents who have children with these conditions is that they should register them at the various selected health facilities country-wide,” said Binamungu.
He explained a cleft lip as a hole in the lip that deforms the curves of a lip while a cleft palate is a hole in the roof of the mouth.
“When children grow up with such deformations, they feel isolated and they often fear to go to school and while at an infant stage many of them may fail to breastfeed or breathe well.
The good news is that after operation, they will all be completely normal,” Binamungu explained.
According to the programme, the operations are due to take place on September12 and 15 at various countrywide hospitals such as the University Hospital of Butare (CHU/B), Nzige Health centre, Ngarama, Burera, Rwinkwavu, Kibuye hospitals and Rusomo health centre.
Operation Smile South Africa is a volunteer medical services organisation that provides free reconstructive facial surgery and follows up on health care to children and adults around Southern and Central Africa with such cleft difficulties.
According to a statement from the organization, over 130,000 children have been treated within 27 years of the organisation’s existence.