PCLAPA Day to be marked in Pakistan.
ISLAMABAD, January 26, 2011 (Balochistan Times): Pakistan Cleft Lip
and Palate Association (PCLAPA) will celebrate PCLAPA Day on January 28
to rejoice successful surgeries having changed the life of hundreds of
cleft lip and cleft palate patients. The day will be celebrated at
PCLAPAs Headquarters and modern medical facility Bashir Hospital,
Railway Road, Gujrat. All children, and patients, who have been treated
at this hospital are invited to have fun, free games, enjoy food at
stalls and gifts. The dresses have been prepared by volunteers.
Chairman, Midland International Aid Trust, UK Kh. Mohammad Aslam along
with a BBC team from UK will also participate in the celebrations, Dr.
Ijaz Bashir, General Secretary of PCLAPA announced here on Wednesday.
The patients will also have audiography tests by experts to treat any
sort of hearing deficiency due to cleft palate. A 10-member medical team
comprising top British Plastic Surgeons, Specialists and senior doctors
visits Pakistan twice a year to perform cleft lip and cleft palate
surgeries at Bashir Hospital. The surgeries, treatment, medicines,
hospitalization, stay and food are provided free to the patients by
PCLAP since 1995. Dr. Ijaz Bashir, Secretary General of PCLAPA, said
children with cleft lip and cleft palate are operated upon, by a team of
internationally distinguished plastic surgeons, specialists and
para-medical staff, and 27 camps have been held, over the past 16 years.
So far, 2,171 children have been operated upon with 100 percent success,
and completely cured at these camps. Their entire lives have changed
since then. More than 10,650 children and other patients were examined
at the camps. The surgery cures and helps patients with a cut lip or cut
palate, or both-a disability that badly disfigures a person and his or
her face. The patient also feels difficulty in speaking, living a normal
life or taking food and drink, besides suffering psychologically.
Patients are discharged after three to four days, following the surgery
and removal of stitches. The PCLAPA operates as a registered charitable
institution, and is funded by purely private donations, and
contributions from Zakat and Sadaqat mainly from its own members. All
donations are exempted from Income Tax by Federal Bureau of Revenues,
Government of Pakistan , under its T.E. No. J-60/2008/346. Among several
large and prominent donors who have come forward to help the children
include students and teachers of International School of Islamabad and
their Smile Club, and Islamabad Foreign Wives Association (IFWA), which
represents wives of all diplomats in Pakistan. Patients, in advance of
the surgery, are registered with Dr. Ijaz Bashir, at Bashir Hospital,
Railway Road, Gujrat, telephone: (53)- 3521102 or (53)-3524139, or
053-3536711 Patients from Rawalpindi-Islamabad region, Azad Kashmir and
Northern Areas can also be registered with Dr. Akhtar Rahman, in
Islamabad , and operated upon at Gujrat. In Pakistan, one out of every
530 children born suffers from cleft lip, cleft palate, or both.
Hundreds of thousands of children suffering from this disability are now
awaiting surgery. Ten thousand more such children are added to the
number each year, PCLAPA estimates. The best results of cleft lip
surgery are ensured if the children are operated upon when they are
three months to one year old. The ideal age for cleft palate surgery is
between the ages of six to eighteen months, because if the operation is
carried out before a child starts speaking, it helps the child in
speaking. The PCLAPA also has invited volunteers of all age groups,
especially students, from all cities, to assist in its charitable work.
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)