One year old Moslima of Patgram, Rangpur, Bangladesh was born with cleft lip. After her birth all the family members and neighbors was blaming Moslima’s mom for this. They were blaming her mom, she had committed some big crime or sin that her daughter was born with such cleft deformities. On July of 2009, Moslima got her free cleft lip surgery provided by Touching Souls International and they were saved from the curse of this birth defect.
Cleft lip and cleft palate is a major problem in developing countries like Bangladesh. The people with cleft -lip and cleft palate are unable to eat or speak properly for which they have to face an isolated life filled with pain and shame for not being socially acceptable. Touching Souls International, a nonprofit organization offers free cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for economically disadvantaged people of Bangladesh. Cleft lip operation gives the person a whole new start of life. Touching Souls International‘s cleft lip project is dedicated to optimize the quality of life of individuals affected by facial birth defects.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy, while the baby is developing inside its mother. Clefting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly.
A cleft lip is a physical split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip and appears as a narrow opening or gap in the skin of the upper lip. This separation often extends beyond the base of the nose and includes the bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum.
A cleft palate is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth. A cleft palate can involve the hard palate (the bony front portion of the roof of the mouth), and/or the soft palate (the soft back portion of the roof of the mouth).
In most cases, the cause of cleft lip and cleft palate is unknown. These conditions cannot be prevented. Most scientists believe clefts are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There appears to be a greater chance of clefting in a newborn if a sibling, parent, or relative has had the problem.
Another potential cause may be related to a medication a mother may have taken during her pregnancy. Some drugs may cause cleft lip and cleft palate. Among them: anti-seizure/anticonvulsant medications, acne medications containing Accutane, and methotrexate, a drug commonly used for treating cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis.
Cleft lip and cleft palate may also occur as a result of exposure to viruses or chemicals while the fetus is developing in the womb.
In other situations, cleft lip and cleft palate may be part of another medical condition.
1. Eating problems. With a separation or opening in the palate, food and liquids can pass from the mouth back through the nose.
2. Ear infections/hearing loss. Children with cleft palate are at increased risk of ear infections since they are more prone to fluid build-up in the middle ear.
3. Speech problems. Children with cleft lip or cleft palate may also have trouble speaking. These children’s voices don’t carry well, the voice may take on a nasal sound, and the speech may be difficult to understand.
4.Dental Problems. Children with clefts are more prone to a larger than average number of cavities and often have missing, extra, malformed, or displaced teeth requiring dental and orthodontic treatments.
Touching Souls Internationale’s cleft-lip project works in co-operation with Cleft-lip Camp Group of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Touching Souls International is an organization which is dedicated for it’s philanthropy for the disadvantaged people of third world countries. Since 2001, it has provided thirty six free cleft-lip camp in different districts of Bangladesh. In each cleft-lip camp fifteen to seventy needy cleft-lip patients got free cleft-lip surgeries. For the first time in their life, they get back the freedom of smile. These patients get back a new life to live, not to be ashamed of their God given facial birth defect any more.