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Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Singapore (CLAPAS)

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Singapore (CLAPAS) was formed with the assistance of cleft palate organisations in the United Kingdom and Australia and registered with the Registrar of Societies in Singapore in 1987.

It was formed with the following objectives :
  • to disseminate knowledge about cleft lip and palate and the treatment of this deformity.
  • to sponsor and encourage research into cleft lip and palate deformity.
  • to foster ties with cleft lip and palate organisations in other countries.
  • to sponsor a self-help family support group.
CLAPAS is the professional body comprising members who are health professionals involved in the treatment and care of cleft patients. The CLAPAS family support group is affiliated to CLAPAS. It is made up of parents of, families of and individuals with cleft deformities, and other friends (nurses), who come together with a shared interest in helping individuals with cleft deformities.

Objectives of CLAPAS Family Support Group (FSG)

  • to provide advice, support and reassurance
  • to promote understanding
  • to share the frustration and reduce the isolation
  • to provide encouragement
  • to provide information and education
  • to link with similar groups in other countries

Services offered by the FSG

  • contact and counselling service
  • education- Publications and videotapes
  • information on the cleft palate team
  • teaching and provision of feeding equipment
A main committee of parents and individual adults administers the FSG. It also includes an advisor (a plastic surgeon) and a nurse co-ordinator from the Department of Plastic Surgery. The nurses in the Department of Plastic Surgery provide cleft counselling. The FSG, while fairly autonomous, gets assistance from the professional body in medical matters.

The FSG maintains a register that is updated annually. It has now 680 families on the mailing list, including several families from West Malaysia, Jakarta and Sabah.

Co-ordination / System of Operations

All new parents with a cleft palate child and adult patients seen at the SOC Plastic clinic are sent by the Attending Plastic Surgeon to Ward 63 (Plastic Surgery) for counselling and advice by the CLAPAS nurses (conducted in a private, dedicated Counselling Room). A referral slip is given for identification purposes. During this counselling session, they may have an opportunity to interact with other parents of cleft children that are in the Ward at that time. The CLAPAS nurse also attends to inter-departmental referral as part of the cleft consultation team.

Further contacts are made with the FSG members at home after office hours by nurse volunteers. Nurse volunteers also organise and meet the parents and adult patients during the cleft programme lectures every three monthly on Sunday afternoons, conducted at the hospital's Lecture Room located at Block 6 Level 9. A detailed schedule of events is available from Ward 63 (Plastic Surgery), Telephone 065-63214631. The volunteer nurses are also involved with the FSG social activities, and provide secretarial support.

Last Modified Date :04 Jan 2010