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A Healthy Smile is Just the Beginning®

The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) has declared July to be Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month.  While they are spreading awareness in their own North Carolina community (see their article here), GSF is joining this effort to spread awareness in the Boston area and beyond.

The ACPA reports that cleft lips and palates are the most common birth defect in the Unites States. Although in most cases, the cause of cleft is unknown, research has shown that genetic and environmental factors play a role. Worldwide, the statistics show the incidences of clefts to be:

  • 1 in 3000 Sub-Saharan Africans
  • 1 in 1000 Caucasians (North American, European Descent)
  • 1 in 750 indigenous populations from the Andes
  • 1 in 422 in Lebanon
In addition, if a couple has one child born with a cleft, the risk of having a second child that is also born with a cleft is 25%. The risk of having a third child with a cleft is 50%.
Part of GSF’s comprehensive cleft care outreach includes educating local communities spreading awareness about and prevention of cleft. Watch our News section for updates on our programs.

Aya in 2017 and 2018. Her younger sister, Jihan, was also born with a cleft and came to GSF in Beirut.

Jihan before surgery

Jihan and her mother, after surgery