Islamabad- Top international Plastic Surgeons, ENT Specialists and senior doctors will start free plastic surgeries for cleft lip and cleft palate , next week, at Islamabad it was announced here Saturday.

The surgeries, treatment, medicines, hospitalization, stay and food will be provided absolutely free to the patients by Islamabad Cleft Lip and Palate Association (ICLAPA), the Association announced.

Patients will be examined at House No. 7, Street 13, F-8/3 Islamabad , on May 18, from 0900 a.m. onwards. Surgeries of the selected patients will be undertaken after two days, at Islamabad . The patients will be given exact date and time of the surgery when their first examination (OPD) takes place on May 18.

Children with cleft lip and cleft palate will be operated upon, by a team of internationally distinguished plastic surgeons, ENT specialists and para-medical staff members who have been performing this task over the past 20 years. The children were operated upon with 100 percent success, and completely cured.

Patients are now being registered for surgery. The surgery cures and helps patients with a cut lip or cut palate , or both--a disability that badly disfigures a person and his or her face.  The patient also feels difficulty in speaking, living a normal life or taking food and drink, besides suffering psychologically. Patients are discharged after around two days, following the surgery and removal of stitches.

The ICLAPA operates as a registered charitable institution, and is funded by purely private donations, and contributions from 'zakat' and 'sadaqaat' mainly from its own members. In Pakistan, one out of every 530 children born suffers from cleft lip , cleft palate , or both. Hundreds of thousands of children suffering from this disability are now awaiting surgery. Ten thousand more such children are added to the number each year, ICLAPA estimates. The best results of cleft lip surgery are ensured if the children are operated upon when they are three months to one year old.

The ideal age for cleft palate surgery is between the ages of six to eighteen months, because if the operation is carried out before a child starts speaking, he or she can do so without any difficulty. The ICLAPA also has invited volunteers of all age groups, especially doctors , medical and other students, from all cities, to assist in its charitable work.