CLEFT funds research into the unanswered questions regarding cleft lips and palates: Why do they occur? How can we best treat them? Could they ever be prevented?
CLEFT Bridging the Gap is a charity which aims to research the unanswered problems in improving care for children born with cleft lip and palate both here in the UK by funding research and in developing nations by training and supporting cleft teams.
We aim to push the boundaries of conventional treatment by funding research into improving operating techniques and by looking at the underlying reasons for cleft deformities. We also support cleft lip and palate teams in the developing world by working with them to improve surgery and facilities.
How do we use your money?
With over a quarter of a million pounds raised so far we are funding major research projects which include:
1. A study of the muscles of the soft palate. This is a PhD study which will cost £145,000 over 3 years. We have funded the first £45,000 and are committed to funding the remainder.
2. A genetic study ascertaining if the TBX22 transcription factors plays an important role in submucous cleft palate. We have allocated £13,000 to this project.
3. We are funding a longitudinal study of the speech and growth outcomes at 5 years of age of children with unilateral cleft lip and palate treated with and without presurgical orthopaedics in infancy. This has cost £2,700.
4. An evaluation of the outcomes of over 200 operations on palates which did not have classical clefts or submucous clefts. The aim is to try to understand which patients will benefit from further surgery. £7,500 has been provided for this study.
5. A 3-D imaging project to develop techniques for 3-D MRI scanning of the palate.
6: A PhD investigation into submucous cleft palate development and treatment
Our overseas work includes:
1. We have bought and shipped operating microscopes for hospitals in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
2. We have funded a visit by Sri Lankan speech therapists to a speech workshop in India.
3. We are paying £12,000 for nasendoscopy equipment for a cleft team in Upper Egypt