Monday, April 15, 2013

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Cleft lip and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy, while the baby is developing inside the mother. Clefting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly.
A cleft lip is a physical split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip and appears as a narrow opening or gap in the skin of the upper lip. This separation often extends beyond the base of the nose and includes the bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum.
A cleft palate is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth. A cleft palate can involve the hard palate (the bony front portion of the roof of the mouth), and/or the soft palate (the soft back portion of the roof of the mouth).
Cleft lip and cleft palate can occur on one or both sides of the mouth. Because the lip and the palate develop separately, it is possible to have a cleft lip without a cleft palate, a cleft palate without a cleft lip, or both together.
Two Children with Cleft Lip in Karnataka, India
Who Gets Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate?
Cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, affects one in 700 babies annually, and is the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. Clefts occur more often in children of Asian, Latino, or Native American descent. Compared with girls, twice as many boys have a cleft lip, both with and without a cleft palate. However, compared with boys, twice as many girls have cleft palate without a cleft lip.
What Causes a Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate?

In most cases, the cause of cleft lip and cleft palate is unknown. These conditions cannot be prevented. Most scientists believe clefts are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There appears to be a greater chance of clefting in a newborn if a sibling, parent, or relative has had the problem.
Another potential cause may be related to a medication a mother may have taken during her pregnancy. Some drugs may cause cleft lip and cleft palate. Among them: anti-seizure/anticonvulsant drugs, acne drugs containing Accutane, and methotrexate, a drug commonly used for treating cancerarthritis, and psoriasis.
Cleft lip and cleft palate may also occur as a result of exposure to viruses or chemicals while the fetus is developing in the womb.
In other situations, cleft lip and cleft palate may be part of another medical condition.

How Are Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Diagnosed?

Because clefting causes very obvious physical changes, a cleft lip or cleft palate is easy to diagnose. Prenatal ultrasound can sometimes determine if a cleft exists in an unborn child. If the clefting has not been detected in an ultrasound prior to the baby's birth, a physical exam of the mouth, nose, and palate confirms the presence of cleft lip or cleft palate after a child's birth. Sometimes diagnostic testing may be conducted to determine or rule out the presence of other abnormalities.

More information : &

Trinity Care Foundation is a Non Governmental Organization focusing on Craniofacial SurgeriesSchool Health and Outreach Health Programs in Karnataka, India.
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

World Health Day - 7 April 2013

World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world. 

The theme for 2013 is high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure = BP

About high blood pressure

High blood pressure – also known as raised blood pressure or hypertension – increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can also cause blindness, irregularities of the heartbeat and heart failure. The risk of developing these complications is higher in the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes. One in three adults worldwide has high blood pressure. The proportion increases with age, from 1 in 10 people in their 20s and 30s to 5 in 10 people in their 50s. Prevalence of high blood pressure is highest in some low-income countries in Africa, with over 40% of adults in many African countries thought to be affected.
However, high blood pressure is both preventable and treatable. In some developed countries, prevention and treatment of the condition, together with other cardiovascular risk factors, has brought about a reduction in deaths from heart disease. The risk of developing high blood pressure can be reduced by:
  • reducing salt intake;
  • eating a balanced diet;
  • avoiding harmful use of alcohol;
  • taking regular physical activity;
  • maintaining a healthy body weight; and
  • avoiding tobacco use.
Public Health Initiatives 

Goals: Greater awareness, healthy behaviours, improved detection, and enabling environments

The ultimate goal of World Health Day 2013 is to reduce heart attacks and strokes. Specific objectives of the campaign are:
  • to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of high blood pressure;
  • to provide information on how to prevent high blood pressure and related complications;
  • to encourage adults to check their blood pressure and to follow the advice of health-care professionals;
  • to encourage self-care to prevent high blood pressure;
  • to make blood pressure measurement affordable to all; and
  • to incite national and local authorities to create enabling environments for healthy behaviours.

More information on high blood pressure

Trinity Care Foundation is a Non Governmental Organization focusing on Craniofacial SurgeriesSchool Health and Outreach Health Programs in Karnataka, India.
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