Organization funds 30,000 cleft lip and palate repairs

Smile Train, Nigeria claims to have successfully performed over 30,000 cleft lip and palate repairs in Nigeria and through its Sing and Smile Clubs helps create safe spaces for children with cleft lip and palate who follow a speech therapy.

Smile Train Nigeria Hotline Manager Mr Paul Lobi speaking at the Sing and Smile Club Children’s Day Concert, Ibadan said the concert was the way the he Smile Train team identified with the children with cleft lip and palate that day.

Mr Lobi said the Sing and Smile club at three hospitals, which started as an outcome of the organization’s psychosocial support, is to supplement free surgical care for children with cleft lip and palate.

According to him, “we don’t just focus on quality surgery; we are also in other programs such as speech rehabilitation and nutrition program. The Sing and Smile Club, which is an outcome of our psychosocial support program, is to create a platform where children can express themselves.

“We hope that the activities of the Sing and Smile Club will also help them develop their speech. There are plans to expand to other partner hospitals so that more children can have a platform to speak out.

UCH’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Jesse Otegbayo, who spoke through the hospital’s Vice Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (Clinical Services), Dr Taiwo Soyinka, said the The Sing and Smile club’s children’s day concert brought smiles to the faces of those children born with cleft lips and palates, thereby improving their psychosocial well-being.

He said the birth defect usually causes children to have speech and feeding problems and the inability to smile, which causes them many psychosocial problems including anxiety, low self-esteem, unhappiness and social shyness.

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According to him, “a smile warms the heart; having a smile improves an individual’s psychosocial well-being. The Sing and Smile club gives them social support and when a child sees that I am not alone with the problem, he feels better.

The Dean of the University of Ibadan School of Dentistry, Professor Juliana Taiwo, said that SmileTrain’s efforts to bring smiles back to the faces of these children through its free surgical correction of the birth defect and his Sing and smile club have greatly contributed to improving the quality of life of children. life and ensure that they reintegrate into society without stigma or discrimination.

Professor Odunayo Oluwatosin, head of the UCH Smile train, said many centers have started repairing cleft lip and palate since the launch of the Smile train in Ibadan about two decades ago to ensure the repair of cases.

Christine E. Phillips