U.S medical experts to carry out cleft and palate surgery in Nigeria

Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin

Medical experts from USA have arrived in Nigeria to carry out free cleft lips and palate surgery on over 100 patients across the country.

Already, the foreign experts had started the screening of the patients, while surgery would commence on Tuesday 12th December 2016.

Addressing a Press Conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, District Governor Rotary International district 9125 Nigeria, Dr. Mike Omotosho, said the volunteers from USA were in Nigeria to carry out free surgery on the patients starting from Tuesday.

Dr. Mike Omotosho disclosed that the foreign medical experts would be in Nigeria for 10 days to carry out the surgery with a view to correct the defects in the patients.

The District Governor said the Rotary International in collaboration with the Kwara State Government, Mike Omotosho Foundation and other Rotary clubs are to carry out the surgery.

Also speaking, the Past District Governor Rotary International district 9110 Nigeria, Dr. Deinde Shoga, said the Rotary International had carried out similar surgery in Abeokuta, Ogun State in 2010, Lagos in 2014 and now in Ilorin to enable the patients benefit from the free surgery.

cross section of patients for the surgery
cross section of patients for the surgery

The Team Leader Alliance for Smiles, Barbara Fisher disclosed that they are in Nigeria to carry out the cleft and palate surgery to eradicate the disease which causes permanent deformity on the patients.

Barbara Fisher urged the patients across the states of the federation to come for the surgery, saying that the cleft is correctable.

Speaking on the cost implications of the surgery, Barbara Fisher disclosed that the cost per patient is 1,000 dollars.

According to her, the disease is as a result of birth defects, genetic predisposition and environmental factors and urged the patients not to be affected by stigmatization.

Barbara Fisher said all the equipment to be used for the surgery would be donated to the General Hospital for local doctors to further the surgery.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of the General Hospital, Ilorin, Dr. Abdulfatah Olokoba called for serious public enlightenment to encourage people to know about the cleft and come for the surgery.

The CMD added that the coming of the foreign experts would lead to cross fertilization of skills and ideas to enhance capacity building of Nigerian doctors.