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Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), in collaboration with the China-based Rotary International and Alliance for Smile, has commenced surgery and speech therapy for persons with speaking deformity as a result of Cleft Lip Palate.

Briefing Journalists at the commencement of the exercise at LASUTH Complex, Ikeja, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Professor Adewale Oke said the hospital noticed that the medical needs of persons living with Cleft Lip Palate deformity have not been fully met, hence the need for the partnership aimed at bringing succour to the patients.

He explained that partnership process with the international organization had been ongoing for about four years and the commencement will no doubt bring a new breath of life to the patients judging from the success achieved by the organization in previous years.

Oke said that the government’s resolve to ease the pain of Cleft Lip Palate victims, who usually face the challenge of facial deformity and improper breathing, made it explore the partnership with a view to identifying the appropriate treatment for the deformity.

“Cleft Lip Palate is a structural problem on the face, but it’s beyond the face. Persons being faced with this challenge are usually stigmatized because of their deformities. The hospital will be providing surgeries on speech therapy for the patients”, he stated.

He said children with the deformity will be rehabilitated, so they can be properly taken care of and ensure needed attention is given to increase and improve their art of speaking.

The Chief Medical Director, who expressed optimism on the commencement of the exercise, stated that the partnership was another stride of the hospital in meeting various health challenges of members of the society.

Meanwhile, the Governor, Rotary District 9110, Dr. Adewale Ogunbanjo said collaboration with Alliance for Smiles for 8years in the country has restored health and physical corrections to 74 patients who had been treated for the deformity.

While speaking on the prevalence of Cleft Lip Palate in the society, he said the deformity is rampant, but fear of being stigmatized kept patients from presenting themselves for treatment.

He appealed to parents, guardians and everyone that has such persons not to hide them in their homes, stressing that early intervention is easier managed but correcting the deformity could be difficult if allowed to fester till adulthood.

The Vice President for Projects, Alliance for Smiles, China, Barbara Fisher, while appreciating LASUTH for accepting the hand of partnership, said the availability of surgeons, social workers and other medical aides at the hospital shows its commitment to helping people out of harsh health-cum-social conditions.

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