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Booze, Bad Feeding Behind Persistent Cleft Lip in West Nile :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Booze, Bad Feeding Behind Persistent Cleft Lip in West Nile

According to a report by Smile Care Uganda, an organisation and charity providing corrective surgery for children with cleft lip and palate, at least 67 cases of neonates born with deformity in West Nile over the past three years suffered the affliction.
A child with Cleft lip (Courtesy photo)

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Health experts are blaming the persistent cases of cleft lip and palate in the West Nile   sub-region to poor nutrition and harmful habits like smoking and alcohol consumption among expectant mothers.

Cleft lip and palate is a birth defect that commonly affects unborn children which usually manifests as openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (palate) or both.

According to a report by Smile Care Uganda, an organisation and charity providing corrective surgery for children with cleft lip and palate, at least 67 cases of neonates born with deformity in West Nile over the past three years suffered the affliction. The report further notes that Pakwach district recorded the highest incidence of cleft lip and palate with 30 cases registered within the same period.

Moses Otim, the programmes coordinator for cleft lip and palate in Northern Uganda under Smile Care Uganda, discloses that the West Nile sub region is still stuck with cleft lip and palate despite numerous interventions over the past years.

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Dr. Simon Kazibwe, a specialized Doctor of Cleft lip and palate at Smile Care Uganda explains that although there is no specific cause for the birth deformity, factors like poor nutrition and bad habits among expectant mothers significantly contribute to the affliction. According to Dr. Kazibwe, mothers who smoke, drink alcohol, have high risks of getting cleft lip in their unborn children.

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Christine Anirwoth, a resident of Panyimur Sub County in Pakwach district, told URN that she struggled to manage the cleft lip condition for years since her daughter was born with the condition.

Gelasyous Wathum Muswa-Ryan, the Prime Minister of the cultural institution of the Jonam, locally known as Kaal Ker Kwaro Jonam, encourages expectant mothers in Pakwach district to ensure proper feed during pregnancy to reduce the chances of cleft lip in their unborn children.

A recent study conducted by Smile Care Uganda, a non-profit organisation and charity providing corrective surgery for children with cleft lip and palate, indicates that over 1,000 babies are born with cleft lip every year in the country.

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