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Kiribati infants receive reconstructive surgery in Taiwan

2017/10/19 21:59:42

Lo Lun-chou (羅綸洲, right)

Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) Two infants from Kiribati, who were born with cleft lips and palates, have undergone surgery in Taiwan and are now recovering well, one of their Taiwanese doctors said Thursday in Taipei.

The two babies, Langley Beniata and Iotebwa Kantaro, were brought to Taiwan on Sept. 23 with the assistance of the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Their cases were brought to the attention of the ministry and the two non-governmental organizations by doctor Wang Shih-hsin (王詩欣), who was working in Kiribati.

Wang saw the two infants in January and subsequently contacted the NCF, which helped make the arrangements for them to obtain treatment at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.

Lo Lun-chou (羅綸洲), chief of the hospital's surgical department, said at the press conference that the infants had severe congenital orofacial cleft, which meant their lips, palates and gums were split.

After successful reconstructive surgery at the hospital, the two children are now recovering well, he said.

At the press conference, the parents of the infants said they were overcome with joy and wanted to express heartfelt thanks to the Taiwanese doctors.

In Kiribati, two to three babies are born each year with orofacial cleft, according to Wang.

The NCF, established in 1989 in Taiwan by Samuel Noordhoff, provides assistance to patients with cleft lip and palate and craniofacial deformity, according to its website.

(By Chen Wei-ting and William Yen)