Doctors from Amritsar hospital to gift new smiles to Uzbek patients

Doctors from Amritsar will soon gift new smiles to the children and adults of Uzbekistan. The medical team comprising of doctors from Amandeep Hospital, Amritsar, have flown to the country as a part of 'Project Uzbek Smile'. The project is an initiative by US based NGO, 'Smile Train'. It is aimed at helping those suffering from cleft lip and palate in the central Asian country.

A team of doctors from 150 hospitals around the country will perform corrective surgery at the Regional Hospital in Urgench, Uzbekistan. Dr Amandeep Kaur, director of Amandeep Hospital said that they were expected to perform the surgery on approximately 100 patients at Urgench over a period of ten days. When asked about the success rate of such missions, he said, 'We have taken up many such projects before and have found that they are highly successful. We have performed the same surgery in nations like Myanmar, Burundi, Rwanda, and other African countries.' Dr Ravi K Mahajan, head of Plastic, Micro-vascular and Cosmetic surgery at Amandeep Hospital,further added that the only hurdle they face is due to superstitious beliefs that most of these countries have regarding birth defects.

The initiative is aimed at providing essential medical treatment to people in countries where they are either too poor to get necessary aid, or are ignorant of its future implications. The procedures are free and may be performed on children as well as adults.

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What is a cleft lip and palate

Cleft lip and cleft palate, which can also occur together as cleft lip and palate are variations of a type of clefting congenital deformity caused by abnormal facial development during gestation. This type of deformity is sometimes referred to as a cleft. A cleft is a sub-division in the body's natural structure, regularly formed before birth. A cleft lip or palate can be successfully treated with surgery soon after birth. Cleft lips or palates occur in somewhere between one in 600 and one in 800 births. The term hare lip is sometimes used colloquially to describe the condition because of the resemblance of a hare's or rabbit's lip.

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