Cleft palate is threatening the lives of babies in Africa. Struggling to feed because of the condition, Godfrey became dangerously malnourished.
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Olive, from Uganda, East Africa, was devastated when baby Godfrey was born with cleft lip and palate.
“I felt like the world had come crushing on me. I felt bad. I did not know what to do.”
Cleft lip and palate occurs when parts of the baby’s face do not fully fuse together while the baby is developing in the womb. The result can be anything from a small gap in the upper lip, to a large slit in the lip that extends into the roof of the mouth.
Babies born with cleft palate can struggle to eat, breathe, hear and speak. They are also at risk of choking on food, or developing life-threatening malnutrition.
Olive was anxious about how her son looked as she had never seen anyone with a cleft lip before. But more worrying, was the fact that Godfrey struggled to eat. Breastfeeding was a struggle so Olive had resorted to giving him diluted cow’s milk through a syringe.
Realising that her three-day-old son urgently needed help, Olive travelled down miles of dusty roads to get to CBM’s partner hospital in Uganda. “I had to come immediately,” she said.
Straight away, nutritionist Bertha, recognised that Godfrey’s condition was life-threatening – he had fever, was jaundiced and malnourished.
“His mother lacked knowledge of healthy breast milk substitutes. This is why I enrolled him on the nutrition programme. I hope that Godfrey will be fine. I believe that God who created him has a plan for him," says Bertha.
Olive hopes that Godfrey will soon be able to have an operation to repair his cleft lip and palate, with CBM’s support. But first he must reach 5 kilos, the weight needed for the operation to be safe and successful.
So Bertha is teaching Godfrey’s mother how to feed him without the risk of choking and how to prepare highly nutritious meals that will help him grow strong and healthy.
Your donation today can have a life-changing impact and help babies like Godfrey grow strong.
An estimated 1,100 babies are born with cleft lip, palate or both in Uganda, East Africa every year. You can help transform the life of a child living in extreme poverty affected by cleft lip and palate.