Cleft lip and palate children and Malnutrition
Studies suggest that children with poor nutrition are at risk of poor surgical outcomes. Children with Cleft are more prone to nutritional problems because of the different degrees of cleft and difficulties in breastfeeding, and lack of knowledge of the parents in different methods and positions to feed the cleft babies. Malnourished cleft children are more prone to infections such as pneumonia, skin diseases, measles, and diarrhea due to nutrition-related immunity.
If malnourishment in cleft patients is not addressed through helping them with education, emotional support, providing Complementary food and micronutrient supplements and treatment, the possibility of their undergoing surgery or even survival becomes very remote.
In view of the above, we at GC4 have a Nutrition Program with the following objectives.
Issues/ challenges faced by cleft malnourished patients
Infants with clefts have a difficult time breastfeeding/eating.
Due to the very poor economic background, these Cleft Children are deprived of proper diet.
Feeding is a constant challenge and unless the cleft is rectified by surgery, the malnourished condition continues.
Due to low weight and very low immune system, these children are unable to receive surgeries on time and the cycle continues.
Objectives of the Mission Smile Nutrition Program:
Cleft children have been enrolled in the nutrition program
Patients from the program have undergone surgery successfully
New cleft patients are enrolled in the program every month
Patients still struggling due to malnourishment.