A cleft lip and/or palate continues to be the one of the most common birth defect. It can cause a number of issues, particularly in the first few months after birth, before surgery is done: difficulty feeding, hearing problems, dental problems, speech problems.

Despite successes so far, there is still much uncertainty about the best techniques for surgical treatment of clefts and the results are far from perfect, for example, approximately 20% of patients with certain types of cleft have sufficiently impaired growth of the upper jaw to require major jaw surgery. In the developing world, cleft patients are frequently not operated on until later in life, if at all. The consequences of which are often severe.

CLEFT is a charity that is focused on providing permanent, sustainable ways to improve cleft care both in the UK and overseas. The charity sponsors research projects in the UK to help to identify the likely causes of clefts and also supports projects in lower-income countries to help provide long-term treatment and care for less privileged people born with clefts.

Any donation, whether a teaspoon or a handful, will contribute to the research fund of this worthwhile cause.

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