Mission Smile launches Comprehensive Cleft Lip and Palate Care Centre

Fortis Medical Research Institute (FMRI), in collaboration with Fortis Foundation and Mission Smile have joined hands to launch a Comprehensive Clinic for Cleft Lip, Palate and other facial deformities for children born with congenital deformity. The comprehensive cleft care services include services of Surgeons, Anesthesiologists, Pediatricians, Speech Therapists, ENT Specialists, Child life psychologists, and Dental/orthodontists.Under the joint initiative, free surgeries to children from less privileged sections will be provided to help overcome their condition and help them live a normal childhood. These children will also be given free speech therapy sessions, after the surgery. The clinic was launched by Nandana Sen, International Actor, Child Rights Activist and Writer, and the ambassador for Mission Smile.

Nandana Sen, Ambassador for Mission Smile, and someone who has worked for ten years for the cause, said, “A smile changes everything. A Cleft lip may seem like an aesthetic problem but it is actually a survival issue. Children with untreated cleft lips and palates do not have the type of life that every child has the right to have and we want to change that so every child can get a good quality of life as they grow up.”

According to Dr Rashmi TanejaChairperson, Mission Smile and Senior Consultant, Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, “Approximately 30,000 children are born with clefts annually. The sooner a child is operated;they have a better chance of leading a quality life. Together, we are dedicated to make a difference to these young children.”

Dr Gagan Sabharwal, Maxillofacial Surgeon, Dental Sciences, FMRI, shared “Only 20-30% children born with cleft actually receive corrective surgeries. Cleft lip surgery is done at the age of 3-6 months of age depending upon the nutritional status and health of the baby. On the other hand, repair of a cleft palate is done between 10 to 12 months of age before the development of speech. This has to be followed by speech therapy to make it effective”.

“This is a first of its kind centre offering comprehensive services for Cleft Lip and Palate care. A child born with cleft will have a range of treatments under the same roof starting from a surgery to speech therapy to orthodontic treatment and cosmetic surgeries such as rhinoplasty and corrective jaw surgery (if needed) over their developmental years, under pediatric guidance,” said Dr Dilpreet Brar, Regional Director, FMRI.