How countries rank re cleft lip & palate needs.

On a day when many of us see people around the world celebrating New Years on TV, I thought it appropriate to consider how cleft lip care resources vary around the world.

There are many countries in the world where patients with cleft lip and palate cannot get access to specialized cleft repair. Flying surgeons and other types of cleft medical missions play an important role in providing surgical care to the areas of the world with limited resources. 


In general, countries with cleft repair resources correspond to the richest GDP per capita countries. These are noted in dark red on the map below. The lowest GDP per capita are depicted in light red.  (Map courtesy of  Global Finance Magazine ).     

Map of world with Rich/poor countries & cleft lip repair resources shown in dark and light red.

Rich/poor countries & cleft lip resources.

The table below ranks many of the countries of the world into four groups.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Cleft lip resources around the world.


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                                        Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2015 Mar; Published online 2015 Apr 7. doi:  10.1097/GOX.0000000000000282    PMCID: PMC4387135.
With advancements in the field of medical science, many untreatable congenital anomalies have become amenable to surgical reconstruction. A major difference between the developed (A), developing (B,C), and underdeveloped (D) countries is the provision of advanced healthcare facilities. In the modern world, specific set protocols are in place for management of patients with cleft lip and palate, whereas there are many regions in the world which are still deprived of basic facilities for cleft care.
There is certainly a genuine need to organize cleft missions in such a way that international missions be directed toward the poorest countries. This way the stigma of people with un-repaired cleft lip and palate may be minimized. In many of these countries, ostracism and banishment of such persons occurs.
Even with closure of clefts, speech problems often occur. Speech therapy programs and follow-up dental care should also be offered to give clefts a chance at a normal life.
To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.

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