Home » General » Cleft Lip, Palate Surgery Changes Lives

An all-volunteer surgical team from the United States — Operation of Hope — has in the last two days carried out 15 successful free surgeries on 12 children and three adults who are affected by cleft lip and palate.

Operation of Hope team leader Ms Jennifer Trubenbach said they were targeting between 50 and 75 patients before the end of this week.

“We hope to finish our target number,” said Ms Trubenbach. “I would like to pass my gratitude to some people in Zimbabwe who have been helping us like Schweppes who provided food for patients and the staff and Rotary Club which helped with all the logistics.”

Mothers were elated as their children were successfully operated on.

“I am so happy to see my child’s new look,” said Mrs Lingiwe Sibanda, who travelled from Kezi with her daughter Fiona.

“Fiona is 16-years-old and life had not been easy for her at school before the operation. If you have a child like this, people will be laughing at you saying the child is abnormal, but this surgery has really changed the life of my child,” said Mrs Sibanda.

Mrs Sibangani Hloka said she came with her three-year-old child Tapiwa for a second operation and she was happy that he will start talking fluently.

Tapiwa was operated on last year but the surgery was not successful.

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.

Last year, Operation of Hope offered 50 surgeries in the country.

The organisation has been performing cleft lip operations in Zimbabwe since 2006 and it has to date helped more than 600 people.

Source : The Herald