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A Successful Batch of Cleft Lip & Palate at World CitiMed

Last September 20, 2011, four kids underwent successful cleft lip and palate surgeries at the World CitiMed...


Cleft Foundation to Operate on 3 Kids with Cleft Lips and Palates

Cleft Foundation, the private and non-profit volunteer medical organization that provides reconstructive surgery to indigent children with cleft lips and palates...


Mom Deeply Thankful her Child Can Keep on Smiling through Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery

A mom whose son had to have two operations to correct a birth defect is deeply thankful to the organization ....

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DWSD Recognizes Cleft

Posted: 10/30/2012

Melissa Ann V. Guico, Director for Business Development of WorldCiti Medical Center ...

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World Citi Med's Proposed Solution to the Cleft Lip and Palate Problem in the Philippines


Overview of Philippines
National Statistics
Total population91,983,000
Gross national income per capita (PPP international $)3,900
Life expectancy at birth m/f (years)67/73
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births)33
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population)240/130
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2009)136
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2009)3.8
Figures are for 2009 unless indicated. Source: Global Health Observatory 1

World Health Organization (WHO) mentioned that out of 1,000 live births, one to two babies are affected with cleft lip and palate.

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Preventive Measures


The causes on the production of genetic defect are still unknown. With thorough research, our doctors can eventually find effective measures to prevent the onset of such deformities. Presently, there is an ongoing research done in the Philippines to evaluate the efficacy of folic acid or prevent recurrences of oral clefts among births to high risk women. However, such proposal is not enough.

To solve this problem, foreign missions are being performed every year. Surgeons, nurses and volunteers from overseas pool their resources and go to the Philippines to help out. By coordinating with various foundations, corporations, and local government units, they were able to solve part of the problem by giving their time, energy and money to such a cause. But with the limited number of days and frequency in a year allotted for the missions, victims of such deformities who were not operated on by these surgeons would have to wait until another mission is scheduled in their local town or vicinity.

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How Citi Wellness Center and World CitiMed got involved?


Citi Wellness Center (CWC), with an ambulatory set-up, is located in the 15th floor of the World Citi Medical Center. With its goal to become the center for charitable programs that will provide utmost service to the community and to lead in building a society of confident, happy, healthy and beautiful individuals, the company has created the Cleft Foundation at World CitiMed. As part of the organization's corporate social responsibility, initially, the center aims to provide surgery to 5 cleft lip and palate patients per month or 60 patients a year. The center has two operating rooms and a passionate number of volunteers. By doing the procedures in a hospital, we are assured of providing great customer service, highly-trained surgeons, friendly allied medical staff, and an environment that is world-class. With the number of cases that will be performed in the center, we can start pursuing research as an area to prevent the root cause of such deformities at the genetic level.

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What started it all?


We were given funding by Smile Train Foundation back in 2008. Citi Wellness, at that time, was only positioned to serve the growing needs of our internal clients: World CitiMed's doctors, employees and World Citi Colleges' students. Citi Wellness predominantly offers spa services to its clientele and a few cosmetic surgical procedures from the referrals of our doctors. Last March 2011, Melissa Guico, the President of Citi Wellness, was asked by Dr. Manuel Cacdac, President of the Hydrocephalus Foundation of the Philippines to join the surgical mission in Ormoc City, Leyte,Philippines. With no knowledge on surgical missions, she enthusiastically joined him and was amazed at the experience. It was on the second day of the mission that she met Dr. Ed Navarro, an anesthesiologist from Germany, who gave her funding to support the cleft lip and palate operations in the Philippines. His specific instruction was to do the cases in the Citi Wellness and the surgeries should be performed by Dr. Laurence Loh. This moment became a start of a new partnership. After the mission, Melissa went back to Quezon City and expressed to the Board of Directors of the World CitiMed the need for Citi Wellness to create a foundation. Without asking for funds, philanthropists from various organizations and areas of expertise have been pledging support for such a cause.

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