Nesia Mhaka Herald Correspondent
Government, in partnership with Citimed Private Hospital in Chitungwiza, will conduct free cleft lip and palate surgeries.
The screening process started on Sunday. Cleft lip and palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy, while the foetus is developing.
In February this year, Citimed Hospital, in partnership with Smile Train, a United States non-profit organisation, conducted successful free cleft lip and palate surgeries on 40 children.
Many children are born with cleft lip and palate complications and it costs up to US$6 000 for one to undergo corrective surgery locally, which is beyond the reach of many.
Citimed Hospital marketing officer Mr Solomon Bamusiri told The Herald on Sunday that the screening of the patients will be done at the hospital.
About 50 children had registered for operations.
Mr Bamusiri said the duration of the exercise would be determined by the number of patients screened for surgeries.
The exact date for operations will be announced soon.
“Screening of the patients will be conducted at the hospital and this time we are using our local doctors and we are very optimistic that every child will be operated,” said Mr Bamusiri.
“We don’t have a closing date for surgeries this time around since we are using our local doctors. The operations will be closed when all registered patients have received treatment.”
Mr Bamusiri said the surgeries came on the back of other successful similar programmes at the medical institution, including free hernia operations.
The exercise was open to all deserving patients, with beneficiaries drawn from areas including Masvingo, Chiredzi, Chipinge and Chimanimani.
Mr Bamusiri said Citimed recently launched its first ever Computerised Tomography (CT) scanning equipment in collaboration with Diagnostic Radiology and MRI Centre.
Ms Cuthin Moyo, one of the parents whose children was screened, said she was pleased with the results and encouraged project managers to continue reaching out to marginalised groups.
“I am happy because my child will soon be assured of a normal life because of this surgery,” she said.