Cleft lip and palate are congenital defects that seriously impair hearing, speech, chewing and breathing. Approximately 10,000 infants are born with cleft lip and palate in East Africa each year. Reconstructive surgery can correct this defect. There are only 20 reconstructive surgeons in the region, about one surgeon for every 10 million people. This project will perform over 1,500 reconstructive surgeries this year and train 1,000 local surgeons in commonly-required reconstructive techniques.
This project provides reconstructive services to correct cleft lip and palate in remote and under-served regions in East Africa. AMREF educates communities about cleft treatment and works to reduce the stigma attached to the cleft condition.
Long-term, this project will help improve the health systems infrastructure by training local doctors to perform surgical techniques to correct cleft lip and palate. Fewer disadvantaged children will grow up with the added burden of a cleft.