The free medical camp is a blessing to the patients given the
high cost of treatment and lack of specialists capable of
handling the disorder in Somalia.
Cleft lip and palate entails
two or three operations and normally involves a group of medical
specialists, among them, speech therapist, psychologist,
dentists and odontologist working together to ensure the surgery
Mohamud Kuresh Ibrahim, who brought his one-year-old son to
the hospital after learning about the free medical camp on
radio, was overwhelmed with joy, saying his child has been freed
from social stigma.
"I brought him from Bula Haji town located 90 kilometers from
[Kismayo], and thanks to God, his operation was successful and I
hope he will get even better," said Mr. Ibrahim.
"There is noticeable change, because initially this place
[the lip] was open but it has been corrected.
"I expect a lot more improvement but as of now, he is healthy
and will get better."
The first free medical camp was conducted in 2016 at AMISOM
Level II Hospital, in Mogadishu, where more than 100 people
benefited from the corrective surgeries.
In March, this year, a similar exercise was held at Baidoa
Regional Hospital in South West state, where more than 40
patients were operated on.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are thought to be caused by a
combination of genes and other environmental factors. While
babies with cleft lip can breastfeed, a cleft palate can make
sucking difficult and cause hearing loss.
2010: My second day with the African Mission
in Somali based here in Mogadishu