islamabad - A team of Chinese and Pakistani doctors will operate 40 children suffering from the congenital condition of cleft lip and palate here from March 21 to 26.

The operations will be carried out at a local hospital free of charge. It will be the first time that the Chinese surgeons have offered their services to provide free healthcare to the Pakistani children, having cleft lip and palate.

The arrangements of free medical services for affected  children have been made by Islamabad Cleft Lip and Palate  Association (ICLAPA). President of ICLAPA M. Aftab and the  founding members Zainab Suleman, Mrs. Farhat Akhtar Rehman told newsmen here that children suffering from cleft lip

and palate need timely medical treatment as the condition also affected them psychologically. They said the disease is curable, if the affected ones are timely treated.

The Association has been doing this noble task providing free medical services to affected children for the last many years with the support of some philanthropists.

Out of every 530 live births, one Pakistani child is born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate or both. Cleft lip and palate can lead to further complications if a child is not treated at an early age, usually three to six months for cleft lip and 11 to 12 months for a cleft palate.

Nearly 10,000 children with these deformities are born every year in Pakistan and alarmingly about 200,000 kids with these deformities are waiting to be operated upon.

Cleft lip occurs more frequently than cleft palate. The patients’ families could contact M. Aftab on his cell number 03215568018 for seeking any information about the surgery’s arrangements.