By Michael Gwarisa
MORE than 200 children turned for Cleft lip screening underway at Harare Hospital while another 47 surgeries were conducted at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo last week courtesy of Operation of Hope.
Operation of Hope is an American Non-Profit organisation focused on empowering marginalised and undeserved communities.
In an interview, Operation of Hope president Jennifer Trubenbach said the response to their call for free cleft lip screening and surgeries was an indication that the need for Reconstruction surgeries was a huge need amongst Zimbabweans.
“Operation of Hope was at Mpilo hospital last week and we did 47 surgeries and this week we will be here at Harare Central hospital starting surgeries tomorrow (Sunday, 21.05.17). By the end of the day today, we would have screened close to 200 kids and we will have slots for about 50 surgeries.
“The 47 children we operated in Bulawayo had cleft lip of the palate and we also did an operation that lasted four hours. Two surgeons operated on a little boy that a donkey cart had fallen on his face and they recreated his face, so it was really an exiting surgery,” said Trubenbach.
She added that the turnout was fabulous and they will always come back for more surgeries next year. She also took time to explain the cause of Cleft Lip to HealthTimes.
“Cleft Lip is when the mother has the baby in the womb and its forming, and there is a particular gene that blocks your face from forming a 100%.
“It’s much like i have blue eyes and you have brown eyes, it is very genetic and its not the cause or fault of the mother, she has done nothing at all for the baby to end up thus. It just happens in 1 baby in 850 babies born in Zimbabwe and the only thing that can fix this condition is surgery like we are doing.”