A new survey suggests that India has over 72,000 cases of unrepaired cleft lip or cleft palate.
Infants in low and middle-income countries face significant barriers to treatment, leading to prolonged disfigurement, social stigma, speech impairment as well as trouble of feeding food that can result in malnutrition and death. The findings showed that there are 72,637 cases of unrepaired CL/P in India. The percentage of individuals with unrepaired CL/P who were older than the respective target age group of 1-2 ranged from 37.0 per cent in Goa to 65.8 per cent in Bihar.
Safe, timely and effective surgery can result in successful outcomes, the researchers noted, in the paper published online by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. However, poor states like Bihar, with less health care infrastructure were found to have exceptionally high rates cleft lip requiring surgery.
The rate of unrepaired CL/Ps ranged from less than 3.5 per 100,000 population in Kerala and Goa to 10.9 per 100,000 population in Bihar. Substandard nutrition and a lack of prenatal care are known to be the likely reasons for these congenital disorders.