REPRODUCED FROM NEWSPOINT - online newsletter of University of Malta
A conference of the ERASMUS+ project entitled SCR4Cleft took place on the 22nd July 2022 at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Health Sciences. This was organized by the Maltese partners, Prof Helen Grech from the Department of Communication Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Prof Jean Calleja-Agius from the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.
More than 30 participants attended this meeting, all hailing from different disciplines and specialties, including specialists in obstetrics, anatomy, speech therapy, psychology, dentists, orthodontists, plastic and pediatric surgeons, in order to enhance the research related to cleft lip and palate.
The aim of this ERASMUS+ project, which comes to an end this year, has been to develop a pedagogical handbook and a training module for parents and healthcare professionals involved in the care of children with cleft lip. During this conference, the modules which were especially stressed upon were those on instilling resilience in children and parents/carers and the acquisition of speech and communication skills. The local data on services offered to children with cleft lip and/or palate was also outlined by Prof Helen Grech.
Approximately 900,000 children, adults, and their families are affected by these specific types of congenital anomalies across Europe. However, the provision of care for children with cleft lip and/or palate, and their families, varies markedly across Europe, especially in marginalized groups. The parental need for information and advice about how to identify early warning signs of challenges and address the difficulties is acute.