Accra, April 12, GNA - Children with cleft lips or palates could from Monday 12 to 23 April benefit from a free corrective surgery at the Ridge Hospital with support from an organisation called Alliance for Smiles from the United States of America.
Cleft lips or palates disease affects children resulting in deformity or holes in their mouths or palates, the upper parts of the gum, which is a birth defect in which tissues of the mouth or lips don't form properly during the foetal development.
Mrs Babara Fisher, Mission Director of Alliance for Smiles, is leading a 25-member medical team to operate over 70 children with cleft lips and said "we want to make good use of our time and see to more children."
She, therefore, called for more of such patients to visit the Ridge Hospital during the two weeks stay in Ghana, saying the exercise may become an annual event.
The Alliance for Smiles team is in Ghana on the invitation of the Rotary Club of Accra-West.
Mrs Fisher said all the members of her team were working free of charge because of their love for children and noted that those who suffer Cleft lips faced social stigma that did not allow them to be accepted in the society.
"Such children are usually denied education and most people are not able to look at them because of the deformity in their faces," she said.
Mrs Fisher said about 300 children are born with a cleft lip or palate in Ghana. However, there was only one treatment centre in Ghana at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, which was only able to treat about 150 cases a year.
She commended the Ridge Hospital and the Rotary Club of Accra-West for the tremendous support they had given the team since they arrived in Ghana, saying "It is our first mission in Africa and the support is very commendable."
Dr Obeng Apori, Medical Director of the Ridge Hospital, expressing gratitude to be team, also asked them to train some Ghanaian surgeons to enable them to perform the surgery since it would not benefit Ghana alone but also other neighbouring African countries.
Mr Ekow Paintsil, President of the Rotary Club of Accra-West, said the club was happy to help and would continue to help the less privileged in society