Traveling the World to Help Children in Need
Cleft lip and palate is a birth defect caused when the tissues of the mouth or lips fail to form properly during fetal development. While doctors don’t know what causes this defect, they suspect it “may be a combination of genetic (inherited) and environmental factors (such as certain drugs, illnesses, and the use of alcohol or tobacco while a woman is pregnant).”
According to KidsHealth.org:
Kids with a cleft lip or palate tend to be more susceptible to middle ear fluid collections, hearing loss, and speech defects. Dental problems — such as missing, extra, malformed, or displaced teeth, and cavities — also are common in kids born with cleft palate.
For unknown reasons, the condition is most often seen in children of Asian, Latino, or Native American descent.
Luckily, this is a curable disease, and thanks to medical exchanges involving teams of volunteer physicians who travel the world donating their skills to children in need of treatment, kids from around the globe are receiving the care they need.
One such medical exchange group is detailing their work on the Love Without Boundaries Blog where they are now in China preparing to carryout numerous surgeries for the patients at Fudan University.
You can read about their first day in country here.
H/T to SharonGilor (Twitter ID: expatguide) of the Expats Moving and Relocation Guide.