Swiss supported Hyderabad Cleft Society launches Know How Transfer Program for Facial Deformity Cure

H. E. Dr. Dominique Dreyer, Swiss Ambassador to India inaugurates program Renowned Craniofacial Surgeon Prof. Hermann Sailer supports the activity
By: GSR Hospitals
July 20, 2008 - PRLog -- His Excellency Dr. Dominique Dreyer, Swiss Ambassador to India has inaugurated ‘Indo-Swiss Know How Transfer Program for Facial Deformity Correction (Face Surgery)’ on Sunday at Hyderabad Cleft Society.  Mr. P Ramakanth Reddy, Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh and Prof. Hermann Sailer, President, Cleft Children International and internationally renowned Craniofacial Surgeon from Zurich, Switzerland were also present at the event. To address the concern of lack of skills and infrastructure, Prof. Sailer supporting the know how transfer where medical knowledge and infrastructure, to treat complex craniofacial deformities, is transferred from Switzerland to the Hyderabad Cleft Society, Hyderabad, India by means of regular education sessions and specific infrastructure donations. The Cleft Children is supported by the people of Switzerland from all walks of life including the medical fraternity, the medical equipment manufacturers, the fashion industry, the precision instrument industry and the common people of Switzerland.
Facial deformities are usually present at birth and cause lot of concern in the society around the child that is born with such deformities. This is because so much importance is placed on facial features in the present day society. So far facial deformities like cleft lip and palate defects are being addressed by some organizations and hospitals for treatment. But a large number of patients with more complex deformities are not treated because of the lack of skills and infrastructure present in India.

Every Year 30,000 children are born with cleft and craniofacial defects in India and 2,000 children are born in Andhra Pradesh alone. The incidence of such child births in Andhra Pradesh was done as a pilot study by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2000. Most children born with such defects are born to parents with low socioeconomic background. This is because the major causes of clefts in India are undernourished pregnant mothers.

The need for Know How Transfer

Since most patients born with facial deformities are too poor to afford treatment they need help in the form of free treatment. Each child with such defects requires multiple procedures that cost between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 50,000 each. This includes cost of infrastructure, treatment materials and Human Resource. The present need in this field of medical care is to employ a skilled work force that can give this treatment all year long. There is also a need to provide good infrastructure to such needy patients. All this needs to be done through donations as the patients themselves cannot pay for these services.

Know-how transfer helps Indian Children

The Hyderabad Cleft Society (HCS) was set up in 1997 to help children born with facial deformities get treatment done so that they are accepted into the society as normal individuals. The HCS has done more than 10,000 cleft and craniofacial surgeries since 1997. The Hyderabad Cleft Society has started the GSR Institute of Craniofacial and Facial Plastic Surgery in 2005, a 50-bed hospital to provide free treatment for children born or suffering with cleft and craniofacial defects. This Institute is equipped to do more than 1200 cleft and craniofacial surgeries every year free of charge to the patient. The Institute also provides free Speech Therapy, Orthodontics, Pediatric counseling and Psychological counseling for such children and adults.

All this has been possible because of know-how transfer programs like the one that is in progress now. It has enabled the Medical Community treating such children learn the cutting edge surgical practices and technologies used in developed nations to help children in India. It has also helped medical centers procure the latest equipment used around the world to benefit Indian children. All this can be given free of cost to the patient.

Until now the Hyderabad Cleft Society has received more than two million US Dollars as donations towards patient care and infrastructure procurement.

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