|A child with cleft lip and palate received free treatment and has effectively recovered. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng|
HCM CITY —From 2007 to now, HCM City Children's Hospital 1 together with humanitarian organisation Smile Train has supported and provided free surgery for 10,000 children with cleft lip and palate.
This comprehensive surgical treatment programme was reviewed last week by the HCM City Children's Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in the treatment of cleft lip and palate.
Director of the HCM City Children's Hospital 1 Nguyễn Thanh Hùng said that the dedication of generations of doctors, effective health insurance policies and meaningful support from relevant NGOs have contributed to the programme’s success.
Nguyễn Văn Kịch acknowledged his daughter Nguyễn Minh Thư’s condition since pre-birth and yet decided to keep the baby as his family trusted their doctors and nurses.
Minh Thư had her first surgery at six months old and just finished a second surgery. As Thư’s cleft lip has now begun to heal, she can eat and drink normally like many other children.
“It is unfortunate that the child was born with a birth defect but now seeing how healthy her lips are, we are very happy. My family feels grateful,” Kịch said.
According to Nguyễn Văn Đẩu, head of the Department of Odonto-Stomatology of Children's Hospital 1, cleft lip and palate defects are caused by genetics and environment.
Of 1.5 million babies born every year in Việt Nam, 3,000 cases are diagnosed with cleft lip and palate. Children with cleft lip and palate are often unable to breastfeed because they are prone to choking. They must be fed with an assistive device.
Since they are also very susceptible to digestive disorders, infections, stunting, growth retardation, and ear, nose and throat diseases that cause hearing loss, timely intervention is crucial to prevent children from being physically and intellectually stunted.
Đẩu said that the treatment of children with cleft lip and palate must be comprehensive to ensure aesthetics, stable speech sound and normal eating habits.
On August 26, with the support of Smile Train, Children's Hospital 1 also put into operation a Research and Training Center for comprehensive care of children with cleft lip and palate, helping them regain confidence and become more successful in the future. — VNS