An Outreach Experience With Cleft Lip/Palate Surgery in selected Hospitals in Kenya

Authors: Wanjala N1, MMed and Khainga S 1,2, MMed,


1.Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya

 2. University of Nairobi

Correspondence: Dr. Nangole Wanjala, Kenyatta National Hospital.



To describe the presentation and surgical care of patients managed for cleft lips and palates during a surgical outreach program..

Study design

A five year retrospective chart study of the patients operated on between January 2005 to the 31st December 2009 in selected hospitals in Kenya.



Smile train-facilitated surgical outreach programs at the following hospi-tals: St Elizabeth Mission Hospital Mukumu, St Francis Mission Hospital, Mwiki, Embu Provincial General hospital , Isiolo District Hospital.and Alupe Subdistrict Hospital.



One hundred and sixty three patients with cleft lips and palates.




The male female ratio was 1.3 to 1. Left unilateral cleft lip was the most common malformation (34.6% of the patients) with modified Millards repair the most frequent surgical procedure. More than 30% of the patients operated on had attained their fifth birthday. There were eight complications for every 100 procedures. Palatal fistulae were the most common complications.



The overall pattern of deformity encountered and the morbidity profile correlate with other studies. There is need to intensify more outreach programs to capture younger patients and address the backlog of cleft cases in the community.


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


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