اخبار الكلية

14 مايو, 2012 12:00:00 ص

An Introduction to the Cleft Lipand Palate Center in Aden


Published on 14 May 2012 in Health& Environment

 

On a cold winter night, in a remote area in Yemen, a soon-to-be father isanxiously pacing outside a room whereas the wife, in pain, is struggling togive birth to a new life. The baby comes into the world and the father isconveyed the good news. A smile comes over his face and he is impatient to holdhis child. But the moment he takes the new born in his hands, the joyfulexpression on his face turns into a frown, confusion, and sadness. The childhas been born with cleft lip and palate deformity. 

Many parents, especially those residing in rural areas, remain unawareregarding the necessary measures to be taken in such a situation: What is this?Where to go? What to do? Who to ask? are among some of the questions thatstrike parents whose babies are born with cleft lip and palate deformity. 

To provide help and support to such parents and their children, the Cleft Lipand Palate (CLP) Center at the University of Aden started working in thisdirection in 2004. However, the Center was officially established in the year2009at Al-Wahda Teaching Hospital in Sheikh Othman (Aden).This Center isaffiliated with the University of Aden and the first of its kind in the region.And, though small at its outset, the Center providessignificant help topatients of CLP.

Since its establishment, the Center continues to provide free of chargeservices to patients, mostly children, suffering fromCLP deformities. Over thepast years, despite all sorts of challenges, the Center works diligently towardraising awareness of the general public about the cleft lip and palatedeformities. The Center has extended its services from receiving cleft lip andpalate patients and providing them with counseling to treating them tofollowing up their treatment, and documenting these patients in the center'sdata base. More specifically, the CLP Center provides the following services.

Receiving CLP patients of all ages and from different governorates andregistering them

Providing counseling to patients and/or their parents.

Providing presurgical orthodontic treatment to these patients

Registering and preparingthose who need surgical treatment

Providing surgical treatment to these patients

Following uppost-surgerycare and treatment with the patients.

Providing educational opportunities for dental students from the University ofAden to observe CLP patients' treatment and conduct research projects

Conducting symposiums and group discussions on CLP

Publishing articles on cleft lip and palate to raise the Yemeni citizens'awareness

Supervising educational and awareness campaign on cleft lip and palate.



Throughout the past years, we have been fortunate enough to have the support ofthe University of Aden, the President of the University Dr. Abdulaziz BinHabtoor,University of Rostock, DAAD organization,the Ministry of Health, andmany generous donors who have continuously supported our modest Center. 

In fact, the University of Rostock during the last eight years sent surgical teams to operate on CLPpatients (mostly children). However, the last year, due to the instability inthe country and security issues in Aden, the surgical team could not come.I have found this very disheartening as I receive calls from anxious parentsresiding in different governorates and inquiring about the arrival of theGerman surgical team.

The CLP Center has come a long way since its establishment; however, more stillremains to be accomplished. We currently need a better self-containedlocation,equipment, and more and better qualified staff to provide help andservice to the many Yemeni children born withCLP deformities. Our kids deservebetter andI am hopeful that since we have come this far, we will extend ourdream of seeing the CLP Center become one of the best nonprofit serviceproviding Centers in the country and reach out to every child who needs us inevery corner of Yemen.

Dr. AhlamHibatulla is the Director of Cleft Lip and Palate Center, and ViceDean, College of Dentistry University of Aden - Aden. She can be reachedthrough email: ahlamhibatulla@hotmail.com

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