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Kwara: Corpers recruited to scout for cleft patients during service

The Smile Train Foundation has recruited some National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members to scout for patients with cleft lips during their cause of service across the 16 Local Government Area of Kwara.

The foundation’s team partner, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Prof. Abdulrasheed Nasir, disclosed this in Yipata, Edu local government area of the state, during the recruitment programme.

He said the programme is to ensure the corpers identify children with cleft lip and call the attention of the foundation for proper treatment.

Nasir explained that cleft lip and cleft palate are openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (palate) or both.

“Cleft lips cause deformed mouths, which also causes problems in feeding, speech and aspiration. The general implication is that the child cannot do what others can,” he said.

According to him, children born with cleft lips are confronted with challenges and stigma which leads to unfounded myths and misinformation against them.

Nasir, who is a Consultant Pediatrician, noted that the goal of the organisation is to give every child with a cleft lip the opportunity for a full and healthy life.

He pointed out that the organization has carried out about 1.5 free million surgeries globally.

According to him, patients can get free surgeries and comprehensive treatment, including surgery, dental care, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) care, speech services, orthodontics, and counselling and support.

The expert submitted that the organisation ensures that everybody are able to smile without hindrance.

Also speaking, Mrs Pauline Adeyeye, Deputy Director of Nursing, UITH lamented the stigma associated with cleft lips.

“Some villages tag these children as demons. The parents find it difficult to identify with the babies because of their condition. They are thrown into rivers or left to die,” she said.

Adeyeye described the condition as congenital abnormality that can be surgically corrected for free.

She pointed out that the rationale behind recruitment of the corpers as champions of cleft lips will provide them with the opportunity of serving in rural communities to call for action and care.

Miss Faria Folarin, a Corper and one of the ambassadors of the programme. expressed delight to be involved in such humanitarian service.

On her part, Miss Joy Olajide, also a youth corper, and an Ambassador of cleft lip treatment, pledged her commitment to the programme and promised to involve more youths.

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