What is a medical mission?
Medical Mission is comprised of a team of 35-40 accredited medical and non-medical volunteers, including plastic surgeons, anaesthesiologists, nurses, a paediatrician, dentist, speech pathologist, child life specialists, biomedical technicians and medical records specialists, from both China and abroad, who travel to the remote areas of the mainland to treat children with cleft condition during a week.
After proper surgery and follow up treatment, children are able to finally close their mouths, allowing them to eat and drink properly. For children with cleft palates, their mouth and nose are finally separated, reducing the chance of infections. The ability to speak properly is also restored.
What about cleft?
A cleft lip is an opening in the lip while a cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. It is possible to have a cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. Children with clefts often experience dental problems, ear infections, and difficulty eating. Clefts also affect a child’s ability to speak properly, making it difficult to communicate.
Clefts are congenital defects that occur early in embryonic development, but the exact cause is still uncertain. It is believed that clefts are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.