In recent weeks, we’ve seen a lot of cleft-related articles regarding research and a comprehensive approach to cleft care.
The Cleft Collective recently announced that the world’s largest cleft research programme had been launched. Over five years, they aim to collect DNA from all children born in the UK with a cleft condition. The programme will then track these children into adulthood and hopes to determine the causes of cleft lip and palate.
We at Transforming Faces look forward to seeing what their research yields. Cleft lip and palate is one of the world’s most common birth anomalies, affecting the upper lip and the hard and soft palate of the mouth. In some countries such as India and Peru, cleft lip and palate occurs in one of every 500 births.
In “Cleft condition can have long-lasting effects,” Philippa Roxby writes about the various procedures needed over the years to fix cleft lip and palate. She details the many issues they encounter along the way, including feeding issues. The condition affects a child’s appearance, speech, teeth, eating, hearing and ability to develop socially.
We advocate for comprehensive cleft care, which means quality reconstructive surgery as well as ongoing rehabilitation. Wherever possible, our cleft teams include audiologists, dentists, nurse co-ordinators, orthodontists, social workers, speech therapists, surgeons, so children with cleft lip and palate have the best possible chance to live full, healthy lives.
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