5 year old Shahajan’ mother Amena Begum of Patgram, Rangpur, Bangladesh always thought that she had committed some big crime or sin that her son was born with such cleft deformities because of which he was unable to speak properly and had faced social discrimination. Shahajan did not have any friends in the playground and was always the subject of mockery.
Amena Begum finally got rid of that threat of guilt, when Touching Souls International provided the free cleft lip camp in their area on last July. In this camp Shahajan got his free cleft lip surgery along with sixteen cleft lip patients. The organization provides free cleft lip surgery going in different parts of Bangladesh. Touching Souls International is a nonprofit organization based in New York. It provides cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children and adults, assists financially in these surgeries for the disadvantaged people of Bangladesh.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy, while the baby is developing inside its mother. Clef ting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly.
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 clef ting in a newborn if a sibling, parent, or relative has had the problem.
Clefts in the lip can range from a tiny notch in the upper lip to a split that extends into the nose. A cleft palate can range from a small malformation that results in minimal problems to a large separation of the palate that interferes with eating, speaking, and even breathing. Clefts are often referred to as unilateral, a split on one side, or bilateral, one split on each side. There are three primary types of clefts:
Cleft lip/palate refers to the condition when both the palate and lip are cleft. About one in 1,000 babies are born with cleft lip/palate.
o About 50 percent of all clefts
o More common in Asians and certain groups of American Indians
o Occurs less frequently in African-Americans
o Up to 13 percent of cases present with other birth defects
o Occurs more often in male children
There are so many of children and adult with un repaired cleft lips and palates in Bangladesh who have little to no prospect of ever being helped. They are so poor, they could never afford surgery. So they wait and they hope and they pray that someday, someone will come along and help them.
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.