A Cleft lip and palate surgery by a team of professional doctors dedicated to saving vulnerable patients suffering from facial deformity in Kaduna, northwestern Nigeria,
In Africa, children and adults with facial deformities (basically, facial tumors, noma, cleft lip, and palate) and others with special needs face discrimination and stigmatization, which sometimes leads the victims to commit suicide or suffer trauma and depression.
However, factors like high costs of surgery, poverty, insecurity, illiteracy, and a lack of awareness are worsening the situation, causing more vulnerable individuals to suffer stigmatization, decimation, and even denied potential by contributing to out-of-school children syndrome.
But as the issue intensified, the Smile Train Foundation put smiles on the faces of vulnerable Nigerians by sponsoring free surgeries across the country.
Dr. Mohammed Rabi’u an associate professor and surgeon who is among the doctors changing the lives of the vulnerable in northwestern Nigeria, comments on the root cause and possible solutions to cleft lip and palate.
Meanwhile, survivors, parents, and even victims who lost their children to deformity express their trying times while they suffer stigmatization.
Besides stigmatization, a matron at Ectomie Hospital disclosed that some husbands abandon, abuse, or neglect their wives after giving birth to babies with facial deformities. Similarly, a mother and survivor of cleft lip and cleft palate shared their challenges with the health implications of these conditions.
However, Dr Muhammed and the matron of Ectomie Hospital advised on potential solutions to prevent or address babies born with facial deformities.