Orofacial cleft outreach in rural Ghana: any positive impact on the community?
European Journal of Plastic Surgery
Reconstructive Plastic Surgery & Burns Unit, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of Surgery, Kumasi, Ghana; Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana; School of Medical Sciences, Kumasi, Ghana; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Health Education Unit, Global Evangelical Mission Hospital, Apromase, Ghana; Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Health and Allied Health Sciences, Ho, Ghana; Department of Surgery, St Martins de Porres Hospital, Agomanya, Ghana; Department of Nursing, Nurses Training College, Ho, Ghana; Department of Surgery, Sogakope District Hospital, Sogakope, Ghana; Department of Anaesthesia, Sogakope District Hospital, Sogakope, Ghana
Background: Orofacial clefts (OFC) are common congenital malformations in humans. They impact negatively on the life of the affected and often regarded as stigma in the society especially among the rural folks. The aim of this study was to analyze retrospectively the cases managed by a Ghanaian indigenous plastic surgery outreach team and prospectively outline the social impacts on the lives of those treated and their communities.Methods: The study reviewed the medical records of patients treated during OFC outreaches in rural Ghana from January 2003 to December 2012 (10 years). This involved visiting and interviewing patients and their parents/relatives, as well as the community leaders comprising chiefs, assemblymen, church leaders, etc., using structured pretested questionnaires within 5 days (September 1–5, 2013) in communities in southeast of Ghana.Results: A total of 32 outreach services were handled over the 10-year period, treating 303 OFC patients (among other pathologies), comprising 175 (57.8 %) males and 128 (42.2 %) females. Out of the 303, 159 (52.5 %) were located and interviewed; also, 65 community/opinion leaders/relatives were interviewed. Sixty-one percent (61 % = 35 patients) of the females and 48 % (n = 49) of the males got married after the surgery; 83 % (n = 45) of the school-going-age patients continued and completed basic schools.Conclusions: OFC outreaches help to restore the lives and dignity of cleft patients and their families improving their quality of life. Stigmatization and psychological effects on them were removed; they were well accepted in their societies and family gatherings.Level of Evidence: Level III, risk-prognostic study. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
adolescent; adult; Article; child; cleft lip; cleft lip palate; cleft palate; community; female; Ghana; Ghanaian; human; interview; major clinical study; male; married man; married woman; medical record review; mouth malformation; orofacial cleft; parent; plastic surgery; priority journal; program impact; relative; retrospective study; rural area; structured questionnaire; treatment outcome; unilateral cleft lip