Every day, children around the world are born with some kind of congenital condition: a cleft lip or palate, fingers fused together, ptosis. Mothers in low-income countries are more likely to suffer from poor nutrition, limited health care and exposure to environmental risks, all of which increase the likelihood that their babies will be born with birth defects.
Cleft lip/palate Cleft lips and cleft palates (where the two sides of the upper lip or roof of the mouth fail to join) are a common problem. Children born with these conditions have difficulty breastfeeding and are often chronically malnourished. Later, an untreated cleft can cause a speech impediment, as well as dental or middle ear problems. Even more tragically, the children and their mothers are sometimes shunned by their families for this deformity.
Syndactyly Another issue is syndactyly, where children are born with one or more fingers or toes fused together. This problem is particularly taxing for families where manual labor is fundamental, with people working on farms, in factories, or in mines. If someone cannot work his prospects for the future are dim.
Ptosis An issue with the muscle that lifts the upper eyelid, ptosis causes a droopy eyelid. Children with ptosis may tilt their head back to see better, causing head and neck problems over time. Left untreated, ptosis can also cause vision problems.
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