Craniofacial malformations are a significant issue in Ghana. Cleft lips and cleft palates are the most frequent of these congenital defects and occur in approximately in 1 per 500-700 births in Ghana. Craniofacial malformations not only represent a serious medical condition, but also cause great emotional distress, social stigmatization and ostracism. However, if effectively treated with surgical intervention, followed by appropriate nutritional, dental, speech and behavioral support where needed, most of these malformations can be corrected, providing the patient with a normal appearance and life.
Clinical resources for the treatment of craniofacial malformations are scarce in Ghana, mainly due to lack of economic resources, extremely limited numbers of trained experts
in the country and minimal access to specialized care.
To help address this problem, HopeXchange partnered with Operation Smile to create the Craniofacial Malformation Center at the HopeXchange Medical Center.
HopeXchange and Operation Smile will be joined by local experts from Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital in Kumasi and Korle Bu Teaching hospital in Accra, to develop a comprehensive training and treatment program as part of the HopeXchange Craniofacial Program. The Program will feature teams of expert international physicians and nurses providing a full spectrum of surgical and related clinical services.
A training course in the treatment of craniofacial malformations will offered as an integral part of the HopeXchange Craniofacial Program. The course will provide Ghanaian and other African surgeons the opportunity to observe and discuss complex craniofacial surgeries, attend discipline-specific medical lectures, practice hands on surgical techniques, and conduct laboratory work.