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World Health Popul. 2018 Jan;17(4):31-36. doi: 10.12927/whp.2018.25443.

Treatment of Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and/or Palate in Brazil: Existing Consensus and Legislation, Scope of the Unified Health System, Inconsistencies and Future Perspectives.

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Specialist in Health Management, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) are the most prevalent craniofacial birth defects in humans, affecting around ten and a half million people across the world and over three hundred thousand in Brazil. Of that, about 70% of the cases occur as a nonsyndromic form, while the remaining 30% are syndromic. In turn, individuals with nonsyndromic CL/P (NSCL/P) often have anatomic deformities involving the lip, alveolar ridge and palate. In this case, the treatments generally require multiple surgeries and various other health interventions throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Another relevant point is that various problems regarding the treatment of NSCL/P in Brazil through the Unified Health System (SUS) have been reported. There are also many inconsistencies in this scenario, including the territorial coverage of healthcare assistance from the craniofacial centres across the country. However, very little data can be found in the scientific literature about the current situation for the treatment of NSCL/P in Brazil. Thus, the present article discusses the existing consensus and legislation, the scope of the SUS, as well as inconsistencies and future perspectives related to the treatment of these craniofacial abnormalities at a national level.


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