The birth prevalence of orofacial clefts, one of the most common congenital anomalies, is approximately one in 700 live births, but varies with geography, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. There is a variation in infant mortality and access to care both between and within countries, so some clefts remain unrepaired into adulthood. Quality of care also varies, and even among repaired clefts there is residual deformity and morbidity that significantly affects some children. The two major issues in attempts to address these inequalities are (a) etiology/possibilities for prevention and (b) management and quality of care. For prevention, collaborative research efforts are required in developing countries, in line with the WHO approach to implement the recommendations of the 2008 Millennium Development Goals (www.un.org/millenniumgoals). This includes the "common risk factor" approach, which analyzes biological and social determinants of health alongside other chronic health problems such as diabetes and obesity, as outlined in the Marmot Health inequalities review (2008) (www.ucl.ac.uk/gheg/marmotreview). Simultaneously, orofacial cleft research should involve clinical researchers to identify inequalities in access to treatment and identify the best interventions for minimizing mortality and residual deformity. The future research agenda also requires engagement with implementation science to get research findings into practice.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Advances in Dental Research: an E-Supplement to Journal of Dental Research|
|Publication status||Published - May 2011|