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‘I no ever believe say as Nurse wey I be I go born pikin wey get cleft lip’



Before and after picture of baby wit cleft lip after surgery

When Dental Nurse, Omomosi Ukarusuo born her daughter seven months ago, she really surprise to see say her daughter get cleft lip and cleft palate.

Dis na because she say she attend all her ante-natal classes and follow all di instruction doctor tell her to do as she get di belle.

Plus as nurse wey don dey see those kain cases for dental clinic wey dem dey hold, she no even expect say dat kain tin go happen to her.

Nurse Omomosi tell BBC Pidgin say di cleft affect her daughter lip and di roof of di mouth wey be di palate. So wen she dey eat, di food dey choke her sometimes so di way she dey take feed her na to express her breast milk den use spoon give her small small from di side of her mouth.

“E no easy I no go lie becos as I see di baby after I born, see say she get cleft, I shock at first. I come dey reason so many tins like how dis tin come happen to me but no answer.

“E come give me depression as I dey reason how I go use take face society as I be pesin wey dey very social and for social media, I don dey plan to showcase my baby face but because of wetin happen, I no fit do all of those tins.”

Nurse Omomosi say wit di support of her husband wey encourage her not to feel bad as two of dem go face am togeda and di fact say di cleft dey treatable wit surgery, give her mind and she come love and accept her baby.

Wen her baby reach four months, she say dem do di corrective surgery for di pikin and now di baby dey alright.

Wetin be Cleft lip and Cleft palate?

Prof. Oladimeji Akadiri, wey be Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, for di University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital UPTH say “Cleft lip and cleft palate na facial and oral abnormalities wey dey show as openings or splits for di roof of di mouth and lip of some new born babies and e dey make di mouth and lip not to join well as e suppose be.

“Clefting dey happen wen enough tissue no dey for di mouth or lip area, and di tissue wey dey available no join together properly. So cleft lip go appear as physical split or separation of di two sides of di upper lip and also appear as narrow opening or gap for di skin of di upper lip.

“Dis separation dey often extend beyond di base of di nose and include di bones of di upper jaw and/or upper gum.”

Prof. Akadiri add say cleft lip and cleft palate na common birth condition among new born babies and e fit occur as part of genetic condition or syndrome or because of di environment wia di mama of di pikin find herself as she get di belle.

Wetin dey cause cleft lip/cleft palate?

Di Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon consultant say Cleft dey different from pikin to pikin as one fit get cleft for di lip or throat or both as di case may be. But e no get anytin wey science fit hold say dis na wetin dey cause Cleft lip, e get certain factors wey dey contribute to am wey dem call predisposing factors wey fit cause am:

Environmental: dat na di tins wey happen around di mama wey di pikin still dey grow inside di mama belle. Like wen she dey exposed to radiation or excessive light or chemical maybe from fertiliser dem use plant crops or pesticide etc.

Genetic: dat one come from genes of parents of di pikin, e dey dia blood and dem carry give di pikin. So pesin for dat family go don get am before before. So e fit dey hereditary wia parents dey pass am to dia pikin. Also e fit happen wen sometin happen to pesin gene wey come modify am like dat.

Oda factors include lack of nutrients for di pregnant woman like some vitamins like excess vitamin A or lack of vitamin B and odas like dat.

“Also pipo wey dey take some kain concoctions wen dem dey pregnant or take some kain drugs, naim make wen woman get belle, we dey tell dem to avoid some kain drugs. If we must give dem drugs, we go make sure say dis no go be sometin wey go affect di pikin before we give,” di Doctor tok.

How di cleft lip/palate dey affect di pikin?

Prof. Akadiri say di mouth, nose and throat dey inter-related in dia functions and so wen cleft happen for one area, e dey affect anoda area.

So pesin wey get cleft for di roof of di mouth wen e eat, di food fit come out from di nose so di pesin go dey choke. Di ear fit gada water and get infection wey go result in ear problem and make di hearing spoil.

Di pikin fit no talk well because before pesin fit talk, e must hear well. Dis na apart from feeding palava as di pikin no fit latch on to suck breast well so e dey worry because if better care no dey, infection fit kill di pikin or di pikin fit choke die.

‘Social stigma against mama and children wit cleft lip/palate na serious challenge’

Prof. Akadiri say dem still get some pipo wey wen dem born pikin wey get cleft lip, dem dey want kill di baby

According to am, in many cases na di mama dey suffer because di husband fit divorce her becos she born pikin with cleft lip or di family fit drive her comot say she born monster. More awareness and education about cleft don dey reduce dis issues and e no dey as bad as e dey before.

“Some parents sef dem tink say di pikin no go be anytin in life so dem no dey gree send dem go school, dem go just leave dem for house or make dem beg for street so all dis fit affect dem and if dem no get help on time, dem fit grow up come dey socially disabled and dem no fit relate well wit pipo.”

No worry, cleft lip/palate dey treatable

For pipo wey born pikin with cleft lip or palate, Prof Oladimeji Akadiri say make dem no worry as e dey treatable and di earlier dem bring di pikin for treatment, di better.

Prof. Akadiri say di treatment no be only to close di gap wey di cleft make, but dem dey also check oda tins because most times, pikin wey get cleft fit get oda abnormalities for inside dia body like di heart, or di abdomen so di hopsital go check di pikin well well to see say no oda abnormality dey any wia.

Prof. Akadiri say di main treatment na surgery to close di gap, and e get di best time and age dem dey follow to do di surgery.

E get certain criteria di pikin must meet wey be di Rule of 10 to qualify for cleft lip surgery: dat na 10 weeks, 10 pounds, 10 gram per DL. So di pikin must don reach 10 weeks, weigh 10 pounds and get blood wey reach 10 gram per DL, but sometimes dem fit do am earlier if di baby get weight.

Den for cleft palate wey dey affect di roof of mouth and throat, dem dey try to fix am before di baby reach 18 months of age as dat area naim dey affect how di pikin dey tok. If dem no do am in time or do am well, di pikin fit no tok or tok well.



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