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What Is A Cleft Lip? Know All About It And How You Can Treat It In Kids

Having a baby born with a cleft lip and/or palate can be upsetting, but it is essential to know that cleft lip and palate can be corrected.

What Is A Cleft Lip? Know All About It And How You Can Treat It In Kids

Cleft lip and/or palate is a birth difference which occurs when certain facial tissues do not fuse properly during fetal development.  These are openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (palate) or both. It results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join properly. Cleft lip and cleft palate can occur on one or both sides of the mouth. The lip and palate develop separately hence it is possible to have a cleft lip without a cleft palate, a cleft palate without a cleft lip, or both together.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects. They can occur as isolated birth defects and can also be associated with other inherited genetic conditions. One in every 700 babies are born with a cleft globally. In India, it is estimated that more than 35,000 children are born with clefts, annually. While the incidence of cleft is related to the density of population, Uttar Pradesh alone sees about 6,000 births with cleft defects annually.

Children with untreated clefts not only live in isolation, but more importantly, face physical difficulties with eating, breathing and speaking, and are prone to frequent ENT infections. Less than 50% of children with clefts get treatment due to ignorance and poverty in India. They face social isolation and many drop out of school due to speech-related learning problems, which in turn leads to loss of employment opportunities. Having a baby born with the condition can be upsetting, but it is essential to know that cleft lip and palate can be corrected. In most babies, surgery can restore normal function and help achieve a more normal appearance with minimal scarring. Cleft surgery is safe and the transformation is immediate.


The Himalaya Drug Company, India's leading Wellness company, launched a new campaign – “Ek Nayi Muskaan” as part of its social impact initiative, “Muskaan”. Through Muskaan, Himalaya Lip Care has been helping to raise awareness about cleft lip and palate and supporting free cleft treatment for underprivileged children, in partnership with international cleft charity, Smile Train. Since 1999, Smile Train's sustainable model provides training, funding, and resources to empower local doctors and hospitals across India to provide 100% free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. As a result, Smile Train has surpassed its one millionth smile globally. 

“Through our partnership with Smile Train, Muskaan aims to help raise awareness about cleft and ensure that more children receive the cleft care they need at a younger age. A smile is an expression of happiness, and with “Ek Nayi Muskaan”, we intend to create more smiles by helping children achieve their dreams and live a fulfilling life. This initiative reflects our overall brand thought - “Khush Raho Khushaal Raho” that captures our vision of ‘Wellness in every home, Happiness in every heart',” said Mr. Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Business Director-Consumer Products Division, The Himalaya Drug Company. 

 “Ek Nayi Muskaan” is a heartwarming story of eight-year-old Munmun, who lives in a small village near Lucknow. She dreams of going to school, playing with friends, and living a fulfilling life like any other child. However, her untreated cleft lip has kept her in hiding. Even in her dreams, she can't think of herself without a cleft and hence imagines wearing a mask to fulfill her aspirations. The film captures the transformational journey of Munmun, as she receives her life-changing cleft surgery.

The film has been directed by Rahul Bharti of Roadrunner Productions, and the song has been sung by renowned actor and singer – Raghuvir Yadav.

Watch the transformational journey of an eight-year-old girl, made possible through Muskaan here:

Unveiling the film, Ali Fazal said, “Children are pivotal to our future, and there should be nothing that deprives them of true happiness. “Muskaan”, the initiative of bringing forever smiles to children with clefts is an important and necessary cause that ensures a bright future for the children as well as their families. I am extremely happy and lucky to be a part of this journey of spreading happiness and smiles.”

 Through the Muskaan initiative, more than 500 children have received cleft surgery to-date. Himalaya Lip Care is committed to furthering this cause and helping to spread awareness so more children receive early cleft care treatment. Himalaya contributes towards Muskaan with the sale of any Himalaya Lip Care product. 

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