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03.11.2005 Health

KATH gets medical supplies for free cleft surgery programme

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Kumasi, Nov. 3, GNA - The Management of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, has taken delivery of 40,000 dollars worth of medical supplies from Children Surgery International of the United States of America towards a planned free surgery programme for cleft babies.

Cleft refers to babies born with split lips and deformed palates, a congenital condition which if not corrected through surgery usually affect the feeding and speech of affected babies. Most babies affected by this "abnormality" die due to feeding difficulties, susceptibility to infections or simply left to die because of superstitious beliefs that they are cursed. Professor Peter Donkor of the Surgery Directorate of KATH, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi on Thursday, said with the arrival of the supplies, all was set for the provision of the free surgery for cleft babies at the hospital from Friday, November 4 to Saturday, November 12.

He therefore appealed to parents of cleft babies in the country to take advantage of the programme and send their babies with such deformities to be corrected. "The 20-man delegation made up of Paediatrician, maxillofacial, dental and plastic surgeons will join their counterparts at KATH to undertake the programme," Prof. Donkor added. He said the first two days of the programme would be used for screening and the rest for surgeries. Prof. Donkor said although KATH had a functional cleft clinic, most parents of cleft babies were unable to access its services due to the cost involved that ranged from one million cedis to three million cedis per surgery.

"The KATH-Children Surgery International programme will enable such parents bring smiles back on the faces of their cleft babies by paying a token fee of 200,000 cedis to cover just the cost of laboratory investigations among others," he added. Prof. Donkor said when a similar exercise was held last year, about 75 babies benefited and hoped that parents of cleft babies would patronize this year's programme to ensure its success.

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