Twenty-eight cleft lip and palate patients in Kafanchan, Jemaa Local Government Area of Kaduna state have undergone free surgery, by an NGO, Good Smile Africa Advocacy Initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that cleft lip and palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy.
The lead surgeon of the exercise, Dr Osodin Eromose, told NAN on Friday in Kafanchan that the stigmatization of children born with such defects informed the NGO’s decision to offer free medical intervention.
“These children suffer a lot of discrimination in our society for something that was never their own making.
“And some people believe that the forefathers of those born with such defects did something bad and the gods are punishing them.
“In fact, in some places the parents of the children hide them out of shame, and some even go as far as killing the children and so it is because of this that our NGO decided to come up with this intervention,” he added.
Eromose said that the defect can be caused by genes passed on from parents, as well as smoking or drinking alcohol or intake of certain medications during pregnancy.
Some of the beneficiaries, who spoke with NAN at the General Hospital, Kafanchan where the exercise took place, thanked the NGO for coming to their aid when they needed it most.
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