OVER 40 children from across the country underwent free cleft lip and palate surgeries at the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital (HKU-SZH) between Friday and yesterday, according to a press release from the hospital.
It’s the fifth time that the hospital has offered free diagnosis and treatment to children with cleft lip and palate since it launched the program in 2015, which has helped 131 children — most of them from poor families or welfare centers.
A 2-year-old boy from an eastern county in Guangdong Province, identified as Binbin, is benefiting from this program for a second time. He underwent a free surgery at the hospital to repair his cleft lip last April, while he was still living in a welfare center.
Binbin was adopted by a couple this year. His adoptive parents signed him up for the program again and his cleft palate was repaired this time.
Kunkun, a 10-month-old boy from a rural village in Puning, a southeastern city in Guangdong, also had a free surgery at the hospital over the weekend.
Kunkun’s family couldn’t afford the medical expenses to repair the boy’s cleft lip and palate, so they were thrilled to be offered the opportunity to join the program.
The parents brought the boy to Shenzhen on Thursday after borrowing money from relatives and friends to cover the travel costs.
According to the hospital, the program will continue recruiting children with cleft lip and palate from across the country and provide free surgeries to at least 40 children in May next year. Residents can go to the hospital’s official website (www.hku-szh.org) or follow its official WeChat account (WeChat ID: hkuszh) for more information.
The program is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Andrew S.O. Ng Foundation and supported by Sea Star Children’s Foundation, Hong Kong Association for Cleft Lip and Palate, and Hong Kong Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.