At present, Namibia has not conducted any research into the root causes of these conditions within its borders. These conditions typically appear as solitary birth defects, yet they can also be linked to numerous inherited genetic conditions or syndromes. Experts posit that the majority of cleft lip and cleft palate instances arise from a combination of genetic and environmental influences, however, this hypothesis has yet to be definitively proven.
A congenital defect in the lip. It may be open on one (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral) of the lip.
A cleft lip happens if the tissue that makes up the lip does not join completely before birth. This results in an opening in the upper lip. The opening in the lip can be a small slit or it can be a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose.
Children with clefts may face social, emotional, and behavioural problems due to differences in appearance
Multiple surgical procedures
If the cleft extends through the upper gum, tooth development may be affected, therefore causing dental challenges
A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth.
A cleft palate happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. For some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. For other babies, only part of the palate is open.
Difficulty in feeding due to the opening at the top of the mouth may cause challenges in sucking on a bottle or breastfeeding
Food and liquids may start coming out of the nose
Speech may not be audible due to speaking through the nose.
Ear infections may occur often