The National Health Mission (NHM), Haryana, would observe a cleft-lip and palate surgery awareness week from January 5 to January 9 at all the 'Smile Train Clinics' in the state, an official spokesman said on Saturday.
Stating that the week would be organised with the support of 'Smile Train'- an NGO foundation, he said during the week children with cleft lip and palate identified under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), Haryana, would be mobilised to different 'Smile Train' partner hospitals across the state for free consultation and corrective surgery as well as medical treatment of anaemic children to facilitate surgery on time.
He said the NHM, Haryana, with the support of Smile Train, joined hands to achieve a shared vision of cleft-free Haryana. Children with cleft lip or palate were being screened under the RBSK from all over Haryana through mobile health teams and were being referred to Smile Train-affiliated centres for free of cost surgeries.
He said almost in every 600 live births, a child is born with cleft lip and palate. It is one of the most prevalent birth defects in India. Every year, 35,000 babies in India were born with clefts and more than 50% of them did not receive any treatment because they did not know a cleft could be fully corrected, or some were too poor to travel to a hospital.