The range of facial deformities is enormous. All produce some degree of disfigurement and result in the impairment of function to some degree, sometimes even to the point of incompatibility with life. Congenital facial defects in India are associated with considerable superstition, social rejection, and failure to integrate into society.
In India, cleft defects occur in 1 in 500 births. Congenital facial defects are a pressing problem in India owing to the limited resources to treat such patients. Poverty is a major factor for parents of such children to get appropriate treatment.
Setting up an institute to treat children with cleft and craniofacial deformities in India presents problems with financing treatment for poor patients, procuring the right infrastructure, and employing well-trained human resources.
The authors have set up such an institute in Hyderabad in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The logistics of setting up such a facility in a developing country and the future of funding for cleft treatment are important factors to consider while establishing a center for patients with cleft and craniofacial anomalies.
The aim of setting up such centers was to provide quality comprehensive treatment for patients from all sections of society with cleft and craniofacial anomalies.