US NGO joins Vedanta for free cleft lip surgery

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 10, 2013 17:10 hrs

Bhubaneswar, March 10 (IANS) A US-based NGO has partnered with Vedanta Hospitals, a multi-specialty healthcare facility set up in Odisha by Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. (VAL), to carry out cleft lip and palate surgeries, the company said Sunday.

Vedanta Hospitals at Lanjigarh in the state's Kalahandi district started these surgeries free of cost a year ago, VAL president Mukesh Kumar told IANS.

"The partnership with Smile Train, a US-based international charity, will leave no stone unturned to treat such cases in the state's Kalahandi-Bolangir, Rayagada and Koraput region," he said.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby's lip or mouth do not form properly.

In India, over 35,000 children are born every year with clefts and over 50 per cent of them remain untreated for lack of awareness.

Smile Train conducts free cleft lip and palate surgeries worldwide and has completed more than 80,000 such surgeries. Vedanta Hospital is the only Smile Train Centre in western Odisha, Kumar said.

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