An infant with cleft palate, courtesy James Heilman, MD, courtesy Wikipedia

cleft palate is a congenital defect where the upper part of the mouth does not develop properly, leaving a gap.  In the developed world, it can be corrected with plastic surgery.  However, given the expense of the operation and the lack of skilled personnel, many people in the developing world have to live with the condition throughout their lives. 

Patients often have trouble eating, especially infants which may not be able to form a proper seal for suckling.  They also often have trouble making speech sounds and often suffer from ear infections.  In addition, they are often shunned in society due to their appearance.

Chris Taub often boasts about his ability to correct such deformities, and has travelled to both Bangladesh and Guatemala to provide the surgery for free to needy patients.

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