Fifty-nine children with harelips and cleft palates in the Central Highlands received free surgery worth nearly 900 million VND (43,200 USD) from May 30 to June 2.

Most of them are from disadvantaged families and ethnic minority groups in Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum localities.

The programme, the 3 rd of its kind in Dak Nong province, was held by the Hanoi-based Centre for Researching and Aiding Smile Operation (OSCA).

The centre has so far provided free operations for over 500 children in the region.
Meanwhile, the Children’s Fund in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on June 2 provided money to support 41 poor ethnic children with the defects.

Averagely, one out of every 700 babies in Vietnam was born with cleft lip and palates. This is relatively high compared with the global rate of 1/1,000. However, if promptly treated, most babies with the defects can make a full recovery.-VNA