Eastern Cape toddler desperate for cleft lip surgery – SABC News

A family in the Eastern Cape are in desperate need of an operation for their two-year-old daughter who was born with a cleft lip.

The Conjwa family say they made numerous appointments at Nelson Mandela University Hospital in Mthatha, but the hospital did not honor appointments to perform the necessary surgery.

A cleft lip and palate are birth defects that can cause eating, speech, hearing and dental problems.

The toddler’s mother, Sisonke Conjwa, says feeding the child is a challenge.

“In 2020 I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and was told to come back after a month they would operate on it and they never did. I kept starting new appointment dates “You. Her peers make fun of the people around her. I’m asking the government or anyone who can help my child get help”

Health Ministry spokeswoman Yonela Dekeda said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to make emergency cases their priority.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, hospitals across the province, including Nelson Mandela University Hospital, have had to reduce the number of elective cases and focus on emergency procedures. The department is in the process of engaging the Smile Foundation to help the hospital reduce the backlog. They have confirmed that they will resume preliminary evaluation for cleft lip and palate surgery in early August.

Christine E. Phillips