The First Combined Cleft Clinic was inaugurated at the Plastic Surgery Department of the Mayo Hospital on Friday.
The inauguration was presided over by Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khwaja Salman Rafique.
King Edward Medical University Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Asad Aslam Khan, Mayo Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Zahid Pervaiz and Dr Fareed Ahmed Khan of the plastic surgery department were also present at the ceremony.
Addressing the ceremony, Dr Fareed said that cleft lips and cleft palates were most likely among children from cousin marriages. He said Pakistan was fourth in the world with regard to birth of children with cleft lips and cleft palates.
He said though Mayo Hospital had already had treatment facilities for the problem, they were available in different departments and buildings. Now, he said, patients and their attendants would be able to access all these facilities under one roof. He said plastic surgeons will be available in the clinic from Monday to Saturday from 10am till noon. He said no fee will be charged for the advice. He said the medical procedure for these children was a long one requiring several surgeries.
Rafique said clefts clinics would soon be started at more teaching hospitals across the Punjab.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2012.