Compliance with primary surgical treatment in people with cleft lip and palate is a well-known problem, especially in developing countries fraught with poverty and ignorance. Different protocols of treatment exist. In this paper, we retrospectively review a cohort from two centres, with a discussion on the outcome and its implications. The records of all patients with cleft lip and palate seen in the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria, from January 1993 to December 1999, were sought, and all available case notes reviewed retrospectively. This included new cases seen in the period, and also cases operated during this period. Follow up took place until January 2005, when the data were collated. The records of all such patients seen at Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital Osogbo, Nigeria, from September 2004 to June 2006 were also collated and analysed. During this period, 102 patients were seen (93 at Enugu and nine at Osogbo). Fifteen had isolated cleft palate, 42 had isolated cleft lip and 45 had combined cleft lip and palate. Presentation time ranged from 1 day to 43 years. The palate was not repaired in 20 people after lip repair; two patients with cleft lip and palate completely defaulted; and only one person with isolated cleft palate failed to undergo surgery in this period. Two patients in Osogbo absconded. The West African sub-region has a high drop out rate after lip repair. © 2007 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.
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