Two percent of Nepalese children are born each year with a disfiguring birth defect, a higher rate than for children born in Western countries. Some contributing factors are poor nutrition, inherited tendencies, absence of prenatal care, and mineral deficiencies during gestation. For many children, surgical intervention may be their only chance to be freed from the stigma, shame and handicaps associated with a disfiguring birth defect.
While some organizations focus on the important work of correcting cleft lip and palate defects, CMAF provides outreach and sponsors surgeries for children with other types of birth defects, such as facial hairy moles, syndactyly (webbed fingers or toes), polydactyly (supernumerary fingers or toes), microtia (under-developed ears), and hypospadius (male genito-urinary problems), These children have few, if any, effective treatment alternatives without CMAF's assistance.
A child with a disfiguring birth defect is often ostracized from other children and the broader community. These children often remain hidden in their homes, unable to go to school and with dim prospects for working or marrying and having a family of their own. Surgical reconstruction offers these children with functional and aesthetic benefits, transforming their futures with the hope of a normal childhood and better life.
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