Fundraiser to help children with cleft lips undergo surgery

KUCHING: Ronald McDonald House Charities Malaysia (RMHC Malaysia) is planning to set up a special fundraising programme for Sarawak-born children, especially for children with cleft lips.

Its general manager Mohd Nasri Mohd Nordin said the programme would become a means to provide support for low-income families who have children with cleft lips to undergo corrective operation.

“Participation from local corporations plays a key role in the work of RMHC, in helping the organisation to help these children to undergo corrective operation,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Monday (Jan 18).

Explaining further, he said children born with cleft lips were often left unattended.

“It is estimated that one in every 700 newborn babies in Malaysia is diagnosed with a cleft lip or palate. Although this condition is non-life threatening, its huge psychological impact may deter these children from leading normal lives.

“And as they grow up, these children will also need additional and different stages of corrective operations to treat this birth defect.

“They must have proper dental care, orthodontics services, alveolar bone grafts and even speech therapy to manage or correct their conditions.”

Through more collaborative support from local corporations, Nasir said the focus to help Sarawakian children would be able to achieve greater impact on human capital development.

“By working with us, we will make sure that each cent that you contribute will make a difference to these children’s lives.”

Since its inception in 2004, the RMHC’s “Gift of Smile” programme has injected more than RM5.3mil as of September 2020, with more than 750 children born with cleft lips and palates undergoing corrective operations.