UAE: Hospital to conduct 30 free cleft lip surgeries annually

First surgery under the initiative was completed on a one-year-old boy from Abu Dhabi.



Dr. Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director, RAK Hospital; Afaf Meky, Executive Manager, Smile Train UAE, and Dr. J.M. Gauer, CEO , RAK Hospital  at the partnership announcement event. Supplied photo
Dr. Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director, RAK Hospital; Afaf Meky, Executive Manager, Smile Train UAE, and Dr. J.M. Gauer, CEO , RAK Hospital at the partnership announcement event. Supplied photo
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 16 Mar 2022, 4:09 PM

RAK Hospital will conduct about 30 free surgeries a year for children affected by cleft lip and/or palate in the UAE and across the Middle East.

Dr Raza Siddiqui, CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group, announced that the first surgery under the initiative has been completed on a one-year-old boy from Abu Dhabi.

The free cleft reconstructive surgeries will be conducted for patients over the age of three months.

The hospital has partnered with Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organisation, to provide the free treatment.

Globally, one in 700 babies is born with a cleft lip and/or palate, which can cause difficulties in eating, breathing, hearing and speaking. Cleft treatment alleviates many of these difficulties, ultimately enabling them to thrive.

A cleft occurs when certain body parts and structures do not fuse together during foetal development. Clefts can involve the lip and/or the roof of the mouth, which is made up of both hard and soft palate.

RAK Hospital’s programme aims to support patients who cannot afford the required surgery.

Sheikh Saqr bin Saud Al Qasimi said: “Cleft lip and palate affect so many children globally but can easily be rectified with simple surgery - this makes it incumbent upon us to take action to help improve the lives of all those with the condition.

“The initiative between RAK Hospital and Smile Train forms a partnership between two internationally respected institutions and is aligned with Ras Al Khaimah’s strategy of developing a world-class healthcare system to benefit the people of our Emirate and also the many patients who seek to travel here for specialised procedures.”


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