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Ann Afr Med. 2013 Jan-Mar;12(1):11-5. doi: 10.4103/1596-3519.108243.

Epidemiology of adult cleft patients in North-western Nigeria: our experience.

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  • 1Grassroot Smile Initiative, Magaji Rumfa Street, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria.



To review cleft lip and palate procedures over a three-year (2008-2010) partnership between the smile train and our organization, the Grasssroot Smile Initiative (GSI).


A three-year retrospective study (2008-2010) involving 79 adult patients with clefts.


Seventy nine (14.4%) of 550 patients with orofacial clefts seen and treated within a three-year period were adults with age range of 17 to 81 years; mean 31.45 ± 13.09. Majority were between 20 and 39 years. There were 54 (68.4%) males and 25 (31.6%) females, with the male:female ratio of 2.2:1. Analysis of the cleft types/site revealed 35 (44.3%) lip alone, 22 (27.8%) lip and alveolus, 7 (8.9%) lip and palate and 15 (19%) palate alone. Seven (8.9%) of these patients had other relatives with clefts. Sources of information were friends and relatives; 33 (41.8%), radio; 18 (22.8%), charity organization/NGO; 13 (16.5%), hospitals/physicians; 5 (6.3%), and others; 10 (12.7%). 57 patients with lip clefts had surgery under local anesthesia while the remaining 22 patients were done under general anesthesia. All clefts of the lip were repaired using the Millard advancement rotational flap for complete cleft, simple straight line closure for incomplete and double layer closure for the palate.


The incidence of adult patients with orofacial cleft is not rare in our community, probably due to limited access to specialized health care facilities, poverty and ignorance. Furthermore, some of these patients are not aware that these facial defects can be repaired. The advent of the smile train organization and free services has resulted in this harvesting phenomenon.

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