Nigeria: Expert Seeks Craniofacial Deformity Hospital in FCT

An expert has called for the establishment of a craniofacial hospital for the poor and less privileged in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The expert made the call yesterday during a free craniofacial surgery outreach organised by the Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi, Nasarawa State.

Facial deformities are a group of diseases that come not just with body pain but immense psychological disturbance due to stigmatisation.

They include facial clefts (cleft lip and palate), facial tumour, locked jaw and Noma.

A consultant maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Seidu Bello, said millions of Nigerians, especially in the rural areas, were living with facial deformities, and therefore called for support in establishing the hospital.

Dr Bello who is the Executive Director of the Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation, said the establishment of a special craniofacial hospital in the FCT would reduce the prevalence of the disease.

He said, “It is absolutely unacceptable that Nigerians still go about with glaring psychological disturbance of facial deformities in our society while the rest of us look elsewhere. Facial deformity is not an exclusive disease of the poor, but the care of it requires funds and technical know-how.

“If professionals like us can come together to carry out free surgeries, it is important that healthy individuals support us with funds so as to continue this good work as the era of depending on foreigners for funding is gradually coming to an end.”

He said his foundation had operated on about 4,000 patients and traversed various hospitals in the FCT, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Edo, Katsina, Oyo, Nassarawa and Delta states in its 10 years of existence.

The Commissioner for Health, Nasarawa State, Ahmed Yahaya, said the state government was committed to providing the needed health for the citizens, particularly those at the grassroots.

The acting CEO of TY Danjuma Foundation, Mr Gima Forje, said his foundation would continue to support programmes targeted at vulnerable persons.

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