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Huge Turn Out For Cleft Lip/Palate Surgery At Harare Central Hospital

Scores of people thronged Harare Central Hospital for the free surgeries on children with cleft lip/palate that is underway in the capital.

The programme, a brainchild of a number of business partners, started on Sunday and is expected to run for a week.

When the 263Chat newscrew toured the Harare Central Hospital to monitor the proceedings, it was evident that some people had come from as far as Honde Valley to access the free service.

Speaking on the sidelines of the programme, one of the patients, Kudakwashe Nengomasha (19), who travelled all the way from Honde Valley, born with a cleft said this was a life time opportunity to get the free surgery and be like any other boy of his age.

“After getting wind about this exercise, I did not think twice, this is a life time opportunity that one does not have to miss. I did not event think of the distance, bus fare and any other hindrances,” Nengomasha said.

Speaking to 263Chat on the sidelines of the programme, Schweppes managing director Charles Musipa there are happy as an organisation to be part of such a noble cause meant to promote good health to the people.

“This kind of operation can gobble close to $35 000, but here we are, making it available to people for free. This is how we have decided to give back to the community,” said Musipa.

A complete cleft palate involves a cleft of the palate and the gum (alveolus) with the outer part of the alveolus tending to collapse inwards. This is why orthodontic treatment is required later and an alveolar bone graft is used to bridge the gap in the gum.

The aetiology of cleft lip and/or palate is still largely unknown. The majority of clefts of the lip and palate are believed to have a multifactorial aetiology with several genetic and environmental factors interacting to shift the complex process of morphogenesis of the primary and secondary palates toward a threshold of abnormality at which clefting can occur.

Rotary club, another partner in the programme, have made sure that all doctors involved in the project are well catered for int terms of their stay in the country.

Rotary Club Harare Central  president  Jephtah Bako had this to say; “We are there to assist the doctors who are volunteering to do the surgeries to make sure their  stay is comfortable as they do their work.”

However, chief executive officer at Operation of Hope, Jennifer Trubenbach said they are happy to be coming every year to make a difference in Zimbabwe.

“This is our 28th mission here at Harare Hospital. We have have decided to have this annually because hospital welcome us and allows us to do surgeries we want to do. We are here to make a difference, we look at what we can offer to the patients so that their lives become normal,” said Trubenbach.

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