The Ghana Cleft Foundation in collaboration with the Databank Foundation, has donated copies of books that educate children about cleft defects to the Adabraka Cluster of Schools in Accra.
According to the Foundation, given the chance to live a normal life without weird looks, children born with cleft defects would join in societal activities and grow happily.
However, most often than not, some children with the deficiency are neglected by society and sometimes their own parents.
The Ghana Cleft Foundation, which caters to children with cleft lips and palate defects as well as creates awareness of the defect, indicated that since children are more prone to stigmatization, educating them about clefts is a step towards the right direction.
Speaking to Citi News, a craniofacial surgeon at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Dr Solomon Obiri Yeboah, indicated that ever since the establishment of the foundation, an average of 200 surgeries are done yearly.
“Cleft is a common birth condition that leaves an opening in the roof of the mouth and splits the lip open. It can occur alone or as part of a genetic condition or syndrome. The structures needed to form the lip, palate and the gum are all there, they just did not fuse together due to unknown circumstances, but there are Ghanaian doctors who are capable of repairing the defect,” he said.
Also speaking at the program, a board member of both the Ghana Cleft Foundation and the Databank Foundation, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo said, “what we’ve done today with this book donation is to kill two birds with one stone. We’re promoting reading among children, by using a book that teaches children about cleft and they, in turn will share the stories with their parents so that they can make the right decisions if they have a child with such defect.”
He further urged parents not to abandon babies born with cleft because their condition can be corrected.