Congress focuses on cleft lip and palate treatments


Minister Larue addressing delegates at the official launch of the congress yesterday 

The congress was officially launched yesterday morning by the local Health Minister Mitcy Larue in the presence of her principal secretary Veronique Laporte.

This seventh biennale world cleft lip and palate congress being held under the theme ‘Cleft prevention in limited resource settings’ has been organised by the International Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation (ICPF).

Also present is the congress president Professor S.M. Balaji based in India and  Dr Kenneth Salyer, the founding chairman and director of the world craniofacial foundation, as well as members of the board of trustees of the ICPF.

Local health officials also attended the meeting including Dr Wix Cupidon, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon and director of the local dental services.

There were also surgeons from over 50 countries including the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and China as well as from the African continent.

The ICPF, established on October 23, 1997 is a multi disciplinary humanitarian foundation devoted to cleft lip and palate patients.

Its goals are to advance the care for cleft lip and palate patients worldwide; strengthen care activity in cleft lip and palate treatment through volunteer activity, charity missions and fund raising.

It aims also to hold a multi-disciplinary international congress in order to ease mutual understanding and establish a network system of information exchange, regardless of fields and organisation.

Mrs Larue said the congress, which is being held for the first time in the African subcontinent, is a vital event in the multidisciplinary cleft rehabilitation in this part of the world.

She said the complex craniofacial surgeries that were conducted for the last two from May 7-8 at the Seychelles Hospital by the international panel of experts, have immensely benefitted 10 patients ranging from 8 months to 31 years of age.

And on behalf of the Seychelles government she thanked the surgeons for their good work.
She also said the congress is expected to focus on the latest advancement in theories and practice of cleft rehabilitation across the world -- from tissue engineering to recombinant technology, to gene research and to stem cells as well as other topics.

“One particular area of concern is facial cleft in newborns which bring in a lot of complications ranging from emotional, social, health and financial issues to the new parents.”

She requested that the researchers, surgeons and the multidisciplinary team under common platform such as the ICPF to usher help to these children.

Dr Balaji said the patients whom they operated on are doing very well at the Seychelles Hospital.

Speaking about the congress, he said the doctors will show their research and what they have done over so many years.

He said senior surgeons are also to be honored during the meeting and they will give special lectures.

He added that he has been coming to Seychelles since 1999 on voluntary health mission and has done many surgeries on several Seychellois children.

Among the papers presented during the conference were: Nursing outcome in patients with craniofacial anomalies who are undergoing operation; assessment of aesthetic outcome and the need for revision of unilateral cleft lip surgery among pediatric patients at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

During the congress there were also lifetime achievement and research awards for those who have contributed greatly towards the cleft lip and palate treatments.

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