Over 20 children from less privileged families suffering from cleft lips and cleft palates are set to undergo free surgeries at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital(JOOTRH) in Kisumu County on the 22nd and 23rd, May 2023.
Speaking at the Kenya Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (KSPRAS) pre-conference workshop at the JOOTRH, the Society’s Chair, Dr. Kimani Wanjeri appealed to parents with children suffering from the deformity to bring them forth and register for this free surgery camp and look out for their subsequent/upcoming medical camps campaigns spread around in different regions.
He mentioned that the cost of one surgery was over KShs. 80, 000 in public hospitals and over Kshs. 250,000 in private hospitals which was way above the reach of many vulnerable families. This is why the Kenya Society of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons carries out these free reconstructive surgeries monthly across the country during the society’s Scientific Conference.
“In a government level five or level six hospital, the repair of a cleft lip would be 50,000 while repair for a cleft pallet the average cost would be 80,000 Kenya shillings,” said Dr Wanjeri.
“The cost goes higher if you are to have this done in a private hospital. Let us say the overall cost for hospitalization would cost about 200,000 for the cleft lip repair and 300,000 for the palate.”
“We are concerned that some children are hidden in homes, others view this as a curse while many of the children and parents suffer from stigma yet this condition can be corrected through surgery,” he added.
Speaking also during the cleft lip campaign in JOOTRH, The Smile Train manager for education and training Mr. Patrick Mwai said “If you come across any child with cleft lip and palate, please know that there is help available free of charge across Kenya and we are here to help you.”
“Do not be afraid, cleft lip and palate are treatable and the public should avoid the misconceptions around cleft lip.’’
Dr. Kimani Wanjeri said the surgeries would precede the 7th Annual Scientific Conference slated to take place at the Sarova Imperial Hotel in Kisumu from the 24th – 26th May of this year.