KAKRIYAL, Jan 5: A free consultation and screening camp with eminent doctors specializing in maxillofacial and plastic surgery has been initiated at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital (SM-VDNSH), located in Kakriyal, Katra.
This initiative, started from January 2017, has been taken to identify and help children born with cleft lip and cleft palate. It is estimated that this deformity is one of the most common congenital anomaly with an incidence of 1 in 700 in the Indian subcontinent.
In Jammu & Kashmir region, the incidence is about 1 in 400 according to studies done by SKIMS Srinagar.
Cleft lip and palate is a congenital anomaly wherein a child is born with non-union of lip and palate. The Cleft deformity may also extend to include upper jaw and nose leading to severe functional and cosmetic compromise.
“The ideal age for treatment according to protocol is 2.5 to 3 months for lip surgery and around 10 to 12 months for palate surgery. The corrective surgeries are better when the child is operated before 1 year. However, if left untreated, we can operate and correct this at a later stage also”, informed Dr Arjun Malhotra, Consultant Maxillofacial and Facial Plastic Surgeon, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital.
Initially, 20 children with this congenital anomaly will be identified to undergo free surgery at SMVDNSH by an experienced team of doctors led by Dr Arjun Malhotra along with paediatricians, ENT surgeon and paediatric anaesthetist who will assess each patient and plan the surgery. The project is supported by Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V – a German based NGO with an objective to provide better quality of life to children suffering from Cleft Lip and Palate in developing nations.
Meanwhile, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Hospital has also got empanelled with various TPAs (Third Party Associates) for health insurance and cashless treatment facility. These include MediAssist, Park Mediclaim, Family Health, Grand Healthcare, Vipul, Achuta and ICICI Lombard. The services are offered for in-patient treatment at the hospital.