DAVAO CITY - A hundred children in Mindanao are scheduled to undergo free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery in Brokenshire Hospital through the Operation Smile organization.
One of the lucky patients is Abdulrafi Naob, 2, from Marawi City. His mother Shaima is grateful that her child will finally have the opportunity to live a normal life.
Her child was not able to undergo surgery because of poverty and conflict in Marawi.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga ako, kasi libre. Mahal ang operasyon kung hindi surgical mission,” she said.
(I’m really thankful that the surgery is free. If it's not a surgical mission, the operation is costly.)
A cleft lip and palate operation for children costs around P100,000.
The oral cleft is one of the top 12 congenital defects in the country.
Since 1982, more than 30,000 have been operated, of which, 16,000 come from Mindanao.