Cleft lip and palate are among the most common birth defects worldwide. They can occur in any nationality, race, or ethnic group.
In the US, as in most first world countries, we have amazing access to healthcare and diagnosis for problems that occur in utero, including cleft lip. In countries that have less access to healthcare, and sometimes even in the US, parents find out about the cleft defect at birth. This can turn what should be a joyful time into a traumatic experience.
Children with a cleft are more likely to have problems with malnutrition, ear infections, hearing loss, dental health, and speech. That’s a lot to give a child at birth!
Thanks to doctors like Ben Stong and those involved with the International reach of the Face To Face project, children born with defects like cleft lip or palate can have hope!
By donating his time and skill, Dr. Stong plays an important part in healing children with facial birth defects. This allows them to be able to eat and speak correctly, as well as to have a “normal” appearance, which may make growing up, finding a job, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle easier.
“Look for the Helpers”
We take for granted the availability of healthcare in America. Without help, parents and children in less affluent countries have less opportunity to get quality medical care for necessary procedures. Dr. Stong is committed to helping those less fortunate. You can help too. Organizations like Smile Train, Operation Smile, and CPF help families in the US and abroad to deal with cleft lip, palate, and other craniofacial differences.
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