Cleft lip and palate deformities cause serious health and psychological issues for patients. (Photo: Vietnamnet.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam-Cuba Hospital in collaboration with Operation Smile Vietnam launched the eponymous orthopaedic surgery programme on October 18 to help children with congenital hare-lip in the northern region.

The Operation Smile programme is an annual activity aiming at helping underprivileged children.

Those born with cleft lip, cleft palate, or both, may suffer from a range of issues including, but not limited to, malnutrition, respiratory failure, speech difficulties and recurrent ear inflammation that may lead to hearing loss.

In addition, patients with these congenital defects are likely to develop psychological issues, especially with regard to appearance, self-esteem, confidence and relationships.

The 2016 programme is expected to offer corrective surgeries to some 120 children.

Besides free surgeries to eligible patients, within the framework of the 2016 programme, free screening, counselling, treatment and medicines will be provided to 120 children from the northern provinces of Lai Chau, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Hung Yen and Thanh Hoa, as well as Hanoi City.

“During the last three decades, with the help of voluntary doctors and people’s donations, Operation Smile Vietnam has realised the dreams of hundreds of unfortunate children and their families,” Nguyen Viet Phuong, vice president of Operation Smile Asia-Pacific and chief representative in Vietnam, said.

“Our desire goes beyond merely increasing the surgeries we can offer every year, we seek to build a world where no children will be born with such deformities,” he added.

Since 2014, in Vietnam, 900 children with cleft lip and palate have received examinations and 500 kids from poor households have been operated with funding donated by ExxonMobil Vietnam.

Cleft lip and palate deformities affect one out of 700 newborn babies in Vietnam.-VNA