The Vietnamese Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation has been officially set up in Hanoi on April 13 with the help of the Japanese Cleft Palate Foundation.

The new foundation is a non-profit organisation aiming to give aid to children who are suffering from disorders including congenital oral diseases and to their families in Vietnam, and to give humanitarian aid to children in overseas countries in cooperation with the International Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation and the Japanese Cleft Palate Foundation.

In Vietnam , there are 200,000 cases of cleft lip and palate and the country is estimated to have 300 more cases each year.

Japan has, over the past 18 years, worked with Vietnamese doctors to perform operations on about 2,000 people with cleft lips and palates. In addition, Japan has helped train Vietnamese doctors and cooperated with them in performing operations on patients in Laos .

Also, Japan has carried out numerous studies on the causes of these deformities in Vietnamese children and put forward suitable preventive measures.

Several poor families with children in need of the surgeries in the southern province of Ben Tre have enjoyed free-interest loans from the Japanese.

The Japanese Cleft Palate Foundation is scheduled to work with Vietnamese doctors to perform operations on children suffering from these birth defects in the northern province of Ninh Binh on April 28, and in Ho Chi Minh City in November and in Ben Tre in December.

In the coming time, Japan will help Vietnam build a rehabilitation centre for those recovering from this type of surgery.

In a related development, the same day, a cooperation agreement on health care was signed between the Hanoi-based Hospital E’s Heart Diseases Treatment Centre and Japan ’s Okayama University in Hanoi .

Under the agreement, the two sides will exchange experts, share treatment experiences and information, and carry out joint scientific research.

Some 10,000-12,000 infants are reported to be born with disorders of the heart in Vietnam each year./.