Caring for Cleft Podcast

You’re listening to Caring for Cleft, an audio series that tells stories of comprehensive cleft care around the world. Caring for Cleft is brought to you by the team at Transforming Faces.

Available Episodes

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Episode 9: The Madagascar Mission: A New Model of Care

Historically, cleft in Madagascar was treated by foreign volunteers via a fly-in-fly-out surgical model.  An infant with a cold during the “mission” dates may be excluded from surgery for a year or more! Clinique Santé Plus, in partnership with Transforming Faces and USA-based NGO Smile Train, has built the first CCC centre in Antsirabe, Madagascar and is working to inspire change nationally. 

In this podcast, we discuss the first Comprehensive Cleft Care centre in Madagascar, the challenges the CCC team has faced in changing perceptions of local, ongoing care, and the hopes and dreams for cleft care in Madagascar.

Episode 8: Comprehensive Cleft Care Solutions in a Time of Crisis

COVID-19 has unleashed extraordinary disruption to the delivery of cleft care worldwide. In today’s episode, we explore how a diverse group of global cleft professionals is rallying toward seeing children and families receive the best care possible — even amidst the ongoing pandemic. 

Matt Fell (Cleft Charity, UK), Karen Goldshmied (Smile Train, Chile), Jayanth BS (ABMSS, India) and Neeti Daftari (Circle of Cleft Professionals, Canada) offer a window into a novel experiment in sharing learning and seeking cleft care solutions during a global crisis.

Episode 7: From Isolation to Comprehensive Care: Caring for Cleft in Bulgaria

Parent powered advocacy propels cleft care forward. In this episode we listen-in to the insights of three dedicated cleft professionals: Professor Youri Anastassov, Jana Angelova and Gareth Davies. 

Together, they are supporting a vision where families, cleft professionals, and NGOs work together to effect change. Their inspiring stories point to the transformation of a generation of cleft patients in Bulgaria. 

Episode 6: Towards Face Equality

A shared experience for everyone with a cleft lip is standing out from their peers. Even after successful surgeries, a facial difference can remain.

In this episode,  we welcome James Partridge (OBE) from the UK, Indian surgeon Dr Manu Prasad, and Julieta Perondi from Argentina to discuss the difficulties of living with a facial anomaly, as well as strategies that support families in seeing their children thrive.

We note with sadness James Partridge’s passing prior to the publication of this podcast. 

Episode 5: Completing the Circle

Join TF’s Executive Director, Hugh Brewster, in exploring how the impact of cleft lip and palate at a young age has shaped the future of inspiring comprehensive cleft care professionals. Guests Nang Ei Ei Phyu (Gift), Angelica Campos and Dr. Camila Caro share their unique journeys toward careers in caring for cleft.

Episode 4: Cleft Surgery in East Africa – Progress to Celebrate!

20 years ago, treatment options for children born with cleft in a typical East African village were very limited. But over the past two decades, local health professionals have been growing new approaches to address the needs of children born with cleft lip and palate in Africa, and beyond. Today’s episode of Caring for Cleft focuses on an area of burgeoning hope and progress: the inspiring efforts of a growing number of surgeons based in East Africa who have become strong advocates for comprehensive cleft care for all. We speak to Dr. Mekonen Eshete (left) from Yekatit 12 Hospital in Ethiopia and Dr. George Galiwango (right) from CoRSU Hospital in Uganda to learn more. 

Episode 3: How a 3D Cleft Palate Simulator is Transforming Cleft Surgery

Learn how a new training tool called the 3D Cleft Palate Simulator is transforming surgical results and improving the way surgeons are performing cleft palate repairs. In this episode, we speak with the creator of the simulator, Dr. Dale Podolsky, as well as Dr. Christopher Forrest, Division Head of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at SickKids Hospital. We also hear from Dr. Carlos Giugliano and Dr. Veronica Caller Farfan on how the simulator has been used to train surgeons in Latin America.

Episode 2: Launching the Speech Profession in Ethiopia

Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common birth anomalies in the world, affecting approximately 1 in 700 children.Children born with a cleft often require long-term, regular speech therapy to learn to communicate clearly.

Today, we celebrate a momentous milestone in Ethiopia: In July 2019, the country’s very first cohort of speech therapists will be graduating from Addis Ababa University’s new speech program! We will hear from Dr. Mekonen Eshete and Berhane Abera, members of the country’s only comprehensive cleft care unit at Yekatit 12 University in Ethiopia. We will also hear from Marci Rose, Program Coordinator of the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration. Finally, we’ll hear from two of the undergraduate speech students themselves, about what this milestone means for them, and for the country.

Episode 1: The Transforming Faces Story

In 1999, Transforming Faces was founded with a mission of delivering comprehensive care to children born with cleft lip and palate around the world. 

Now, twenty years late, we revisit our story with some of the organization’s key stakeholders, including co-founders Jackie Elton and Jo Jamieson, longtime Executive Director, Esteban Lasso and field partner, Suraj Subramaniyan.