Jiujiang, China Treatment Center

The Jiujiang University Hospital Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment Center was officially established on April 19, 2007. It operates as an international treatment Center established with donations from Alliance for Smiles. A year and half after it opened its doors, it is successfully serving more than 150 patients. The goal of Alliance for Smiles is to perfect and replicate this model of a compressive Cleft Lip and Palate Center in other areas of China and the World.

Alliance for Smiles' comprehensive approach involves much more than corrective surgery. In addition to surgeries, families receive education about proper oral hygiene and care for a cleft child. Speech pathologists provide therapy for children who have already developed problems due to cleft palates repaired after development of speech. The Treatment Center team pairs up with the local Department of State Family Planning in China so that vital information such as hereditary and pre-natal issues can be obtained.

The Jiujiang Treatment Center Team is encouraged by the commitment to regular team meetings. The team, headed by Dr. Huang Xiaolin, meets weekly and sees a minimum of five patients per team session. The team thoroughly examines and reviews each patient, discusses protocol and appropriate treatment and schedules subsequent treatment sessions accordingly.

One hundred and fifty two operations were performed by local physicians in the first year of the Treatment Center, alone. Just like the AfS medical missions, patients who come to the Jiujiang Treatment Center receive services free of charge. Under-served children come to the Treatment Center and are enrolled in comprehensive long term treatment. This type of approach to the cleft anomaly allows for better outcomes and in particular, palate surgeries at younger ages than has been customary, thereby resulting in fewer speech problems.

Alliance for Smiles looks forward to continued success with its first Treatment Center and is excited about establishing additional centers in other under-served areas of the world.