Mission Smile nutrition team has supported 1000 cleft children in North east India and helped restore both health and smile of the malnourished children. Currently another 1000 patients are enrolled in the program. The Nutrition Programme mandates to provide free counselling, medicines & food supplements to such children but is not being able to due to paucity of funds. With help of kind donors we plan to help the malnourished children attain the perfect health for cleft surgery.
Many cleft children remain untreated as are malnourished and hence physically unsafe for surgery. The problem starts in infancy due to their inability to receive effective breast-feeding which is the principal source of nourishment for babies in developing countries. Cleft children have an impaired sucking mechanism which makes breastfeeding tiring for the child. The problem is further compounded by lack of knowledge of the parents in different methods and positions to feed the cleft babies.
Mission Smile's Nutrition Department is a very important part of its comprehensive care for cleft surgery. The team helps severe and acute malnourished children in the age group of 6 months to 5 years to gain good health, prepare them for cleft surgery and regain good health post operation. It's a facility-based 2 months program which provides nutritious counselling,mother's training, food & medication. The patients are discharged from the program only after complete recovery.
This program has 2 way impact. First 1000 malnourished cleft children will be nourished to attain good health. Next, with reduce risk of surgery, they will be operated for their smile restoration. Cleft children are socially neglected and are known to have low self esteem. Smile restoration has a permanent impact that makes the children socially accepted, boost their self confidence and brings new life to the grief stricken family.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).