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CLEFT INFORMATION

Overview cleft lip and palate

More than 500 babies are born with cleft lip and/or palate conditions each year in Bolivia!

Cleft Lip and Palate (CLP) is the most common congenital facial deformity in the world. Approximately 1 in 500-600 children are affected. Cleft Lip and Palate is present in every country and in all sections of society.

Cleft deformations can vary considerably. They can occur as a cleft lip either on one side of the face (unilateral) or on both sides of the upper lip (bilateral), as a cleft palate, cleft lip and palate or cleft lip and maxilla. Other types of cranio-facial clefts such as lateral clefts or facial clefts are rarer. Cleft lips and palates account for seventy per cent of the cases.



Bilateral cleft lip and palate
Bilateral cleft lip and palate

Simple cleft lip

Simple cleft lip



Cleft palate

Cleft palate



Left-hand lip and maxilla cleft

Left-hand lip and maxilla cleft



Transverse cranio-facial cleft with partial loss of eye

Transverse cranio-facial cleft with partial loss of eye



Full cleft of lip and maxilla

Full cleft of lip and maxilla



Effects of Cleft

Babies with cleft are often sickly and malnourished due to feeding problems. If these cleft conditions are left untreated, these children will suffer both physically and emotionally as they face a life of torment, poor health, isolation, and illiteracy. Speech issues as well as hearing, dental and bone structure problems additionally hamper their involvement in the community.

Frequently both children and their families are ostracised by their communities, and many family units break down due to the stress and peer pressure.

Sadly 12% of babies born with clefts and whose clefts are not repaired die before the age of five.

The good news is that cleft can be very well treated!



Causes of cleft

Even though cleft lips and palates are the most common congenital deformations of humankind it is still not fully clear from the medical point of view what actually causes them. There is no single reason for cleft.
Rather, there are genetic and environmental factors that influence the likelihood that a child is born with a cleft condition:



No person can be held responsible for the deformity.