The Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation (CFDF), is soliciting for N420million to build craniofacial hospital for indigent people in Nasarawa State.
The executive director, CFDF, Dr Seidu Bello, said it is absolutely unacceptable that Nigerians still go about with glaring psychological disturbance of facial deformities in the society while the rest of Nigerians look elsewhere.
He said 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.
“On our own part, we have resolved to continue this project. We challenge all professionals in other specialties to rise up to the occasion,” said Bello.
He said “Sustainability of the project will be guaranteed by the multiplier effect of a standard edifice capable of rendering care, training and research. We hope it will be a specialised referral hospital in SubSaharan Africa.”
Speaking during the opening of the 24th free orofacial surgery and presentation of the Abuja Craniofacial Hospital for the poor, in Keffi, Nasarawa State, Bello said the foundation seeks to reach a minimum of 50 indigent persons, with over 3,869 beneficiaries since 2010.
“The present 24th edition has witnessed a massive turnout of patients with different kind of facial deformities. As at today, 65 patients have registered. We have operated on 13 while surgery continues for one week. It is obvious that we cannot attend to everybody which is a wakeup call to the reality that the facial deformities are not rare.
“Our journey in the past 10 years has been fulfilling. We have traversed various hospitals in the FCT, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Edo, Katsina, Oyo, Nassarawa and Delta States. We have succeeded in creating awareness about the scourge of facial deformities in various communities.
“We have operated on close to 4000 patients out of about 7000 patients in attendance. One significant experience is the drastic reduction of adult cleft in Nigeria,” the ED said.
According to him, cleft and facial deformities have been associated with body pain and immense psychological disturbances brought about by social stigmatisation, adding that ffected people are socially dislocated and have their potentials destroyed.
“This is the reason the foundation made it a point of duty to sensitise Nigerians about the scourge of cleft and other facial deformities in the society,” said Bello.