The executive director, Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation, Dr Seidu Bello, has called for the establishment of craniofacial unit in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital for more accessible and less expensive maxillofacial service.
Bello, who made the call at the opening ceremony of ‘team 25’ free cleft and facial deformity surgery programme, at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Oyo State, urged the management of the hospital to consider engaging a surgeon while appealing to well spirited individuals to assist the foundation with N5million to purchase basic instruments to start the unit.
He also urged the Oyo State government and LAUTECH management to expedite action on the establishment of School;lkp of Dentistry at the university to provide manpower in dentistry and maxillofacial surgery for the realisation of the team 25 festival.
Bello said the present 25th edition of the programme has witnessed a massive turnout of patients with different kinds of facial deformities.
“As at today, 44 patients have registered. We have operated on 13 while surgery continues for one week with a target of 50 patients. It is obvious that we cannot attend to everybody which is a wakeup call to the reality that facial deformities are not rare.
“From the statistics, 20 (45%) of the patients are from Ogbomoso while 32 (72%) are from Oyo state.
The expert 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.
He added that 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. We must rise up and do something. On our own part, we have resolved to continue this project. We challenge all professionals in other specialties to rise up to the occasion,” he said.