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LASUTH set to create centre for cleft palate, lipping patients

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Lagos – The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, on Monday said it would soon inaugurate a cleft lip and palate centre to properly care for patients with such conditions.

• Children with cleft lip and palate and some beneficiaries of a free surgery programme by SmileTrain at the National Orthopaedic Hospital,Igbobi, Lagos.

Prof. Adewale Oke, the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, made the assertion at the 6th Biannual Conference on Cleft Palate and Lipping in Lagos.

The conference was to express the hospitals willingness to work with the consultants and specialists from the United States under the auspices of Alliance for Smiles.

“It is also to continue to partner with the Rotary Clubs, Nigeria, to provide succour to the needy.

“Four years ago, we had our first interface with Rotary and since then, they have been here biannually to follow up patients that have undergone cleft lip surgery before and to perform surgery on new patients that have continued to come.

“Now, they want to go a step higher; they have been able to gather the specialties that are required to complete the surgery and their mandate, so that they will be no more defect mentally, psychologically and other wise, by putting all these groups together.

“What I will do is to ensure that they have a room, a theatre where the cleft palate surgery will be carried out; so soon, there will be centre for cleft lip in LASUTH.

“There is also a plan to have the special x-ray machine that will give us more successes for the surgery and we expect that to be here by the end of next year.

“It is a success story and we hope that we will continue to associate with them to continue to give service to patients as they come,’’ Oke said.

In his remarks, the Governor of Rotary District 9110, Nigeria, Mr Kola Sodipo, said that the team was in Nigeria to flag off another edition of treating and managing the illnesses.

“It’s a pleasure to be here in continuation of Rotary International in partnership with LASUTH to provide succour to the needy, especially in the area of cleft palate and lipping surgery.

“What is important is that, apart from the volunteers from U.S coming to work with our specialist here, they are also trying to transfer those skills to our consultant specialists here in Nigeria to improve their ability to deliver that necessary health services to our patients and our citizens,’’ Sodipo said.

Also, the Coordinator, Rotary Cleft Palate Surgical Mission, Dr Deinde Shoga, said the team was in Lagos to ensure that the experts took things to a new level by giving total care to patients with cleft lip and palate.

“In 2014, the team worked in LASUTH and operated over 60 patients.

“Having done all this, and in realisation of the fact that cleft lip and palate had gone beyond just repairing the defects, Alliance for Smiles decided it was high time it moved things to higher levels.

“This is by collaborating with one of the government facilities that they had visited and set up a treatment centre which will ensure that the same practitioners have something to do with cleft palate and lip,’’ Shoga said.

Commenting, the Managing Director of Alliance for Smiles, Mrs Kristin Stueber, expressed joy that LASUTH gave her team the opportunity to continue with the project.

“I thank LASUTH for allowing us to continue with this project; it’s true that in medicine, progress can often be slow and sometimes frustrating,“ Stueber said. (NAN)

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