Cleft Care Nigerian Foundation has commenced the fifth edition of its free cleft lip and palate surgery at the Karshi General Hospital Abuja, which will last for a week.
Wife of the FCT minister, Hajia Aisha Bala Mohammed, in an address said 165 patients have benefitted from the programme at different hospitals with 16 surgeries conducted out of the 60 registered.
She said persons suffering from the cleft lip and palate disease are faced with numerous physical, emotional and social problems, which are being addressed by Cleft Care Nigerian Foundation's experienced professionals.
In his speech, Secretary FCT Health and Human Services, Dr. Ademola Onokomaiya, represented by Executive Secretary FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, said cleft lip and palate disease are congenital birth defects that have many associated problems and management challenges.
Director of Cleft Care Foundation, Dr. Seidu Adebayo Bello, stated in his speech that the ailments are the commonest congenital deformities of the craniofacial region affecting one in every 700 live births.
He said cleft lip occurs as a result of disturbance of growth of the foetus between 5 to 12 weeks and experience shows that 47 percent of patients are above 10 years old, while only 24.3 percent are less than two- year-old.