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Giving a chance to smile

State Governor of Nagaland, K. Sankaranarayanan with members of the Rotary Club and Cleft Lip and Palate patients before flagging off the Free Cleft Lip and Palate Operation at Raj Bhavan, Wednesday. (NP)
Correspondent Kohima:
Published on 12 Feb. 2009 1:18 AM IST
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In a venture to bring smile to people affected with lip deformities, Rotary Club Kohima in partnership with Rotary Club Imphal and Smile Train Shija Cleft Project today launched the Free Cleft Lip and Palate Operation. Governor of Nagaland, K. Sankaranarayanan, officially flagged off the first batch of cleft lip and palate patients to Imphal from Kohima. Speaking at the flagging off ceremony at Raj Bhavan, the governor lauded the Rotary Club for giving free of cost treatment to the poorer section of the society. Pointing out the society’s narrowed attitude towards people with deformities, the governor stated that lip deformity was inborn, and not a disease. Acknowledging the opportunity given by the Rotary Club, the governor appealed Rotarians, and media fraternity and public to publicize the mission. Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Smile Train Partnered Surgeon from Shija Hospital and Research Institute, Imphal, Dr. Kh Palin stated that it was the duty of the people to bring back normal life to cleft lip and palate patients. “We should help give a smile to unfortunate and give a new life to them”, he said. Dr. Palin also informed that more than 35,000 babies with lip deformities were born every year, and that 8 lakhs patients in India were in need of corrective surgery. To meet the challenge, he called upon support from everyone. Director, Club Ser-vice, Dr. Keditsu said that many patients were not coming forward for the free treatment because of stigma attached to it. “The deformity gives psychological stress to patients”, he said. He called upon patients to come forward for corrective surgery free of cost, and also informed the gathering to spread the information. Altogether ten patients left for Shija Hospital and Research Institute, Imphal, where Dr. Kh. Palin, consultant Plastic Surgeon and Smile Train Partnered Surgeon, and his medical team would operate the patients on Thursday. The patients included Avinuo, Pievolhoutuo, Muguveyi, Yisangla, Neozosanuo, Bimula, Sezota, Sangeeta, Livi and Avane. The patients belonged to the age group of 8 months to 40 years, who hailed from different areas under Kohima, Phek, Kiphire and Dimapur districts. It may be mentioned that Smile Train Shija Cleft Project was launched on June 11, 2006 to render free quality corrective surgeries to patients with Cleft Lip and Palate between the age of 4 months to 40 years. The project had successfully performed 1400 free cleft surgeries in the last one and half years. It not only provides free quality corrective surgeries but also provide free diagnostics and treatment services, accommodation, for patients and one attendant. Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where millions of children suffer with un repaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly. The best time for primary surgery is within one year. In India, over 35,000 children are born with cleft lips or palates every year. Most of them cannot afford treatment though the deformity is totally treatable. Cleft lip and Palate patients have been called for free corrective surgery for the second phase of Free Cleft Lip and Palate Operation. The second batch of patients will leave for Shija Hospital and Research Institute, Imphal on February 19. Transportation (to and fro), lodging and food for both patients and attendants will be provided free of cost. This project is an initiation of the Rotary Club Kohima in partnership with Rotary Club Imphal and Smile Train Shija Cleft Project. For further details, contact 9436001870.

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