Cleft lip/palate a medical abnormality, not witchcraft – expert

 Dr Seidu Bello, Director, Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation, Abuja,  says cleft lip/palate is a medical abnormality which occurs when certain body parts and structures do not fuse during foetal development.

“It is a medical abnormality and not an act of witchcraft, infidelity and other myths,” Bello said on Tuesday in Keffi, Nasarawa State, at a training organised for journalists.

The training, which was organised by SmileTrain, has “The Role of the Media as a Tool for Reporting Cleft” as its theme.

Bello explained that the medical abnormally usually occur within the first three months of pregnancy.

According to him, the major cause of Orofacial cleft is unknown.

“What is certain is that there are predisposing factors which are either genetic or environmental,” he said.

Bello further revealed that there were two types of cleft – the typical and atypical – adding that both could be repaired through surgery.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day training is focused on enhancing journalists’ knowledge and understanding of basic concepts of cleft lip, their differences, among others.

NAN also reports that SmileTrain has 54 surgical partners across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria who provide free comprehensive cleft care and surgery in their own communities. (NAN)