As part of the Ruel Foundation's charitable organization framework, we work extremely hard to provide the necessary surgery and support required for children suffering from cleft lip and palate, among other conditions.
Cleft lip and palate are birth defects where there is an opening in the lip and/or palate (roof of the mouth), typically caused by incomplete development during early foetal formation process. Normally the tissues that form the lip and palate fuse together in the second and third months of pregnancy, however in babies with cleft lip and cleft palate, this fusion process never takes place or only occurs partially, leaving an opening (cleft).
According to researchers, the majority of cleft lip and palate cases are caused by some form of interaction between genetic and environmental factors. An exact cause among most babies isn't discovered.
The Ruel Foundation is a cleft lip and palate charity that has volunteers that work to locate children living in poverty in remote areas of the Phillippines, Vanuatu and Fiji Islands that suffer from this birth defect. In most cases, these children are overlooked due to their isolation and a lack of funding. Ruel Foundation staff work closely with local authorities to process these children for cleft lip and palate treatment.
Cleft lip and palate surgery is carried out in local healthcare facilities by local staff and surgeons. It costs an average of US$375.00 to provide such treatment for each child. This includes accommodation, transportation, medication, doctors' visits, as well as pre-op and post-op checks.